Caring for Cows in a Time of Rinderpest: Non-academic Veterinary Practitioners in the County of Flanders, 1769–1785

Caring for Cows in a Time of Rinderpest: Non-academic Veterinary Practitioners in the County of... Summary Non-academically trained practitioners of early modern veterinary medicine are still commonly described in decidedly unflattering terms; their practices often conceived of as folkloristic or otherwise static and unchanging. This article examines a group of such veterinary practitioners in the county of Flanders, known as cow masters. It argues that the medicine they practised was theoretically sophisticated and in line with contemporary mainstream medicine, while they made use of a variety of newly available chemical and exotic remedies. It is postulated that these newer remedies augmented the market for specialised practitioners, which has important implications for the history of medicine as a whole. Flanders, veterinary medicine, cow masters, rinderpest, eighteenth century, chemical remedies, exotic remedies Introduction Although recent studies have proved illuminating, there is still much of the history of veterinary medicine that remains in the dark.1 Studies of the field are often focused on the period after the establishment of veterinary schools, or lack the resources to study the earlier period in much depth.2 When mentioned at all, veterinary healers who came before or did not graduate from these schools are commonly described in the harshest of terms, as illiterate or incompetent, offering remedies that were traditional, ‘folk’ or even quackish.3 This image is perhaps perpetuated by taking at face value the writings of contemporary physicians, who commonly castigated non-physicians (or indeed, their fellow doctors) for holding wrong or dangerous beliefs.4 The underlying implication that pre-scientific veterinary medicine was a static entity, the bucolic preserve of cowherds and their handful of hand-me-down home remedies, is often left unstated but is nevertheless far-reaching. Even those historians who have painted a more positive and nuanced picture of early modern veterinary medicine have often treated it as a relatively unchanging entity.5 By ignoring the possibility of change within this culture of veterinary healing, historians have not only paid short shrift to what must have been a vital component of day-to-day experience in the countryside, but have also ignored a potential vector of change within medicine as a whole.6 In this paper, I will investigate the medical beliefs and practices of a group of veterinary healers, the so-called ‘cow masters’, a group quite distinct from blacksmiths or butchers, who were pervasive throughout the countryside of the county of Flanders, under Austrian rule for most of the eighteenth century. The efforts of the central government of the Austrian Netherlands to combat an outbreak of rinderpest, a deadly cattle disease, from 1769 to 1785 meant that these healers were suddenly at the heart of the state’s attention, leading to an unparalleled level of detail that remains in the archives. In this paper, I will focus on three aspects related to this under-investigated group, allowing us to reconstruct the ‘veterinary marketplace’ as it existed within the Austrian Netherlands. First it will investigate the distribution of these cow masters throughout the countryside. Second, attention will shift to their conceptions of animal body and illness, which will be compared to that of physicians and that of a licentiate of the veterinary school of Alfort. Finally, the paper will investigate the remedies that were used and also compare them to those used by cattle owners themselves. As we will see, cow masters were able to articulate their views with remarkable theoretical sophistication and made great use of exotic and chemical remedies: findings that have important implications not just for the history of veterinary medicine, but that of medicine as a whole. The Cow Masters As successive outbreaks of rinderpest affected European nations over the course of the eighteenth century, many of them instated preventative measures. In the Dutch Republic and the German principalities, for instance, these remained limited to quarantines, the application of various remedies, and the burial of dead animals.7 In other polities, the slaughter of infected animals was made mandatory, such as in England and the Papal States.8 In the Austrian Netherlands, of which the county of Flanders formed a part, even stricter policies were introduced from 1769 onwards, including but not limited to preventative slaughter, precautionary inspections and the indemnification of slaughtered animals, in which cow masters played a pivotal role.9 This effort has left us with an excellent source with which to investigate the distribution of cow masters and other experts throughout the countryside. From 1771 onwards, the central government of the Austrian Netherlands distributed pre-printed forms that were to be filled out by a commissioner at the scene of each individual outbreak of bovine illness. In these forms, the diagnosis of rinderpest had to be made and attested by one or more ‘experts’, who were also responsible for valuing the animals which were subsequently slaughtered. In some cases, additional information—such as place of residence or the profession of these experts—was also indicated. For other individuals, this information could be gleaned from the voluminous correspondence accompanying these forms, or in a list of experts appointed by parishes in the castellany of Courtrai.10 Within the 853 Flemish forms, 170 different experts were mentioned: this constitutes the entire known corpus for this region.11 The title of ‘expert’ was used in this context simply to denote someone with the necessary experience or skill to perform a diagnosis, to effect a cure, or to value a head of livestock. Concomitantly, not every expert was a cow master; the word was occasionally used as an adjective, as in the following sentence: ‘Sir Mergaert tells me that a certain Jan Baptiste Hoornaert living in Handzame is a properly expert cow master’.12 Similarly, we sometimes encounter farmers explicitly described as experts but not as cow masters.13 It is thus no surprise that a variety of occupations show up in these forms: 54 of the experts were identified as exercising a particular trade. Of these, 42 were ‘cow masters’. Seven others were described as blacksmiths or butchers: a clear sign that these were distinct trades, an impression strengthened by the 12 who were described as being both cow masters and blacksmiths or butchers. It seems that cow masters were seen to possess a distinct identity, related to—but distinct from—that of other specialists within the realm of cattle care. That is not to say that this was a (proto-) professional group, as there were no overarching institutions that delimited entrance requirements or set standards with regards to education or eligibility. Moreover, references to their own farm or herds show up occasionally in forms or correspondence.14 Cow masters, then, probably did not derive all of their income from their practice but combined it with other occupations and agricultural work.15 Of these 42 experts, the domicile of 14 can be established. Using data from a general cattle count in 1772, we can calculate the ratio between heads of cattle and the number of experts. This analysis is summarised in Table 1, and gives us a median of 466.50 heads per cow master. Table 1. Cow masters per head of cattle for thirteen parishesa Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Note: aSource for number of cow masters, see footnote 5 in the main text. Source for heads of cattle: General cattle count of 1772, folder 11166, Estates of Flanders. Table 1. Cow masters per head of cattle for thirteen parishesa Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Note: aSource for number of cow masters, see footnote 5 in the main text. Source for heads of cattle: General cattle count of 1772, folder 11166, Estates of Flanders. This suggests that veterinary practitioners were relatively ubiquitous and their help was easy to find.16 Of course, some caveats regarding this ratio must be highlighted: basing this figure only on the number of animals in the experts’ home parishes may lead to an overestimation if experts were rare elsewhere. However, there is one event in particular that illustrates the crowded field of veterinary practitioners and the many options available to farmers in need of assistance. In January 1772, Commissioner De Geest inspected the stables of Joannes Van Coillie in the village of Oekene on the outskirts of Roeselare (a city in southwest Flanders). He was accompanied by two local cow masters: Joseph De Witte, of the same village, and Joannes Goemaere, living in neighbouring Rumbeke. The two experts agreed that five animals there seemed to be affected by the ‘contagious illness’, but expressed uncertainty. Returning the next morning, they encountered another cow master on the premises, Joseph Van Den Broele, also of Oekene, who vehemently declared it was not rinderpest and that in fact he could have the affected animals cured by the next Sunday. As the two experts accompanying him still professed uncertainty about the nature of the disease, De Geest finally sent for three more cow masters, all living in nearby villages. These experts had all arrived by late afternoon and declared the animals to definitely be ill with rinderpest; the animals were slaughtered.17 In this one incident, then, we encounter six separate practitioners, all living and working in close proximity to the farm in question. Clearly, a farmer in this village wishing to consult with a more knowledgeable practitioner had a wealth of options, and we have no indication that Oekene was in any way an exceptional case. This group of healers was thus prevalent throughout the countryside—a situation comparable, as a matter of fact, to that which existed with regards to practitioners of human medicine.18 Next, we will consider the content of their medical thinking. Thinking about Cows We have seen that pre-scientific veterinary medicine still suffers from some historiographical image problems. Recently, however, Louise Hill Curth has argued that there was a flourishing literary culture of veterinary medicine in early modern England, which fitted coherently into the Galenic views of mainstream (human) medicine. Nevertheless, her sources do not allow her to say much about the day-to-day practice of this veterinary medicine.19 We may perhaps draw a parallel with an earlier stage of the historiography of human medicine: while historians used to see a clear difference between ‘academic’ and ‘folk’ medicine, gradually this boundary became more and more blurred, and indeed today most scholars would reject even the very existence of this dichotomy.20 Nevertheless, David Gentilcore has recently argued that in fact there were important distinctions between what he calls the ‘medical’, the ‘popular’ and the ‘ecclesiastical’ spheres in terms of types of healers, aetiology and sources of healing, an observation also made by Carsten Stühring with regards to early modern veterinary medicine.21 However, the sources which have been used to debate this point—recipe books, case notes, diaries and the like—are still relatively rare and often difficult to work with.22 If this is the case for human medicine, the archival situation with regards to veterinary medicine is many times poorer still.23 In this regard, the many documents relating to the outbreak of rinderpest and its management in the Austrian Netherlands are a welcome exception to the rule, and will allow us to investigate the medical beliefs of the cow masters further. They were not academically schooled healers, but to what extent was their medical worldview similar to that of healers who were so schooled? Is it correct, in other words, to regard pre-scientific veterinary medicine as more folkloristic, traditional or unchanging, as compared to contemporary academic medicine? Can we identify different ‘spheres’, with different notions of aetiology and cure? We can answer these questions since, in the course of the outbreak under discussion, a number of experiments were carried out, which featured physicians, cow masters and a licentiate from the veterinary school of Alfort under the direction of the famed Claude Bourgelat. Neither physicians nor the licentiate were otherwise involved with the state’s policies, but nevertheless were briefly allowed to experiment with remedies.24 The licentiate, Mr Chanut, ran his tests in the summer of 1769. Chanut, unfortunately did not leave too much documentation of his cures. It is, nevertheless, useful to include him: Bourgelat and his students are often described as forerunners to the systematic study of health in animals, and indeed the first that we might call ‘veterinarians’ proper.25 It is thus worth questioning whether both approach and remedies were really all that different from those offered by other sets of practitioners. The physicians, Drs Somers and Vander Woestijne of Ghent, were allowed to experiment in the abbey of Drongen in December 1769. While they are unique in that they are the only physicians to have left behind both a published pamphlet as well as detailed case notes in which they reported their activities to the Estates of Flanders on a daily basis, we might question to what extent they were representative of academic physicians more generally.26 To verify their position vis-à-vis the mainstream, I will draw upon nine other pamphlets and booklets written and/or published by physicians in the Austrian Netherlands concerning rinderpest. Four were written during or after the 1740s outbreak; the remaining five were published during or after that of the 1770s (for ease of reference, all pamphlets used in this paper are listed in Table 2). Table 2. Printed pamphlets used in this paper Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Table 2. Printed pamphlets used in this paper Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Finally, as the disease kept spreading throughout the county of Flanders, three cow masters were allowed to perform cures in a number of separate stables in 1771. A record containing varying levels of detail was kept for all three cow masters, but that of Jan-Baptiste Hoornaert is particularly revealing, as an alderman of the castellany of the Franc of Bruges conducted a detailed interview with Hoornaert concerning his remedies and his views of what the disease was. Again this presents us with the question of representativeness: after all, Hoornaert was selected to take part in this trial specifically because this alderman had heard he was a ‘properly expert cow master’.27 As such, he might have been an atypical cow master. To some extent though, it will be possible to compare his thinking with that of others: members of the political elite regularly sent each other recipes or remedies which they had heard about or had seen applied—itself a sign of the regard in which lay knowledge was held—and sometimes cow masters sent reports themselves or were quoted at length by local authorities.28 Moreover, two pamphlets were written or dictated by cow masters and published in 1714 and in 1748 (also listed in Table 2). While all of these trials were judged to be unsatisfactory and did not result in changes in government policy, they nevertheless allow us to take an unprecedented look at the views concerning disease and cure of all three groups. A Sense of Humours What was going on inside the body of the diseased bovine? Here, I will describe how these three different groups answered this question, and from which principles they attempted to counteract this. The views of the physicians are the easiest to reconstruct, as they, as a group, have simply produced the widest selection of publications. The Ghent physicians Somers and Vander Woestijne, for instance, wrote of a ‘subtle, penetrating and contagious venom’ that corrupted all humours, thereby causing a burning heat that unstoppably terminated in ‘gangrene and mortification’.29 Similarly, the physician De Scheperre sought the cause in a ‘contagious poisoning substance … of a putrid, alkaline, volatile, subtle, penetrating, corrosive nature’ which took days or even weeks to effect visible changes.30 He described the signs from which the disease might be recognised during an autopsy, but interestingly he notes that these could in fact be variable—lungs, brains, stomach and intestines could all be affected—and in no way predetermined. That these organs were affected was no more than an effect, happening only when ‘the vitiated, hatched, infectious matter, has differentially settled on the internal parts, organs et cetera through the circulation’.31 The actual cause had to be located in ‘a troubled perspiration, the circulation of the blood, and later totally vitiating the humours, from which must follow obstructions, corruptions, inflammations, swellings, convulsions et cetera and that the stomach and the intestines must lose their power, as well as unfailingly incapacitating the nerves’.32 The terminology is a little different from that of his earlier 1744 pamphlet, but both this aetiology as well as its remedy remained exactly the same: ‘To gain the cure of the sick animals, one has to generally keep one’s eye on: 1. Averting obstructions. 2. Preventing corruptions. 3. Repairing the circulation of the humours.’33 The conception of illness that is articulated here is of course not a modern one, in which certain symptoms are caused by pathological changes in a particular organ that have one specific cause.34 On the contrary: organs were affected directly only in a second phase, at a time when ‘the almost irremediable damage is already done’, which was a visible sign of, but in no way the cause of the disease.35 The speed with which the infection progressed depended on traditional Galenic factors such as the age, temperament, food and surroundings of the animal.36 For some authors, this list of contributory factors extended to the environment: the writers of Instruction pour les gens de campagne, for instance, warned of the dangers of a hot spring followed by a cold and wet summer, generating disease-causing fogs. Thankfully, their effects could be counteracted with a preventative regime of purgatives and other drugs, in effect altering the animals’ constitution in response to atmospheric conditions.37 Similar instructions were given by other writers, but this never precluded these authors from also giving stringent warnings about preventing communication with infected animals, or people who might have come into contact with them: while atmospheric conditions could give rise to, or aggravate, the illness, they were never necessary to its spread.38 Even Judocus-Leonardus Van De Walle, who quoted Sydenham to argue that the immediate cause of the disease was to be found in the atmospheric constitution, recommended separating healthy animals from those infected.39 Cow masters too, in their pamphlets as well as in practice, recommended this preventative measure.40 The conception of the body and of illness that seems to have been at work here was no different from that of mainstream human medicine.41 The famous Dutch physician Herman Boerhaave, who was influential throughout the eighteenth century, for instance, described the body as a hydraulic system, in which health was dependent on a smooth and unhindered circulation of bodily fluids within a frame of ‘solids’.42 The reconstruction which Barbara Duden made of the views of the eighteenth-century German physician Johannes Storch and his patients shows a similar picture: inside the body, fluids and humours circulated, unrestrained by anatomical structures. It was the task of the physician to encourage healthy circulations, correct wrong movements or blockages and expel corruptions or excesses from the body.43 One could characterise this view as a sort of ‘filtered’ Galenism, which had lost its extensive connection with Aristotelian physics and had essentially become a plumbing of sorts, concerned as it was with the management of a range of bodily fluids and humours in permanent flux. The authors we have cited above also underlined, when talking about the autopsies of animals felled by rinderpest, the ‘gangrenousness’ or ‘putridity’ of what they found inside. Cow masters too opened up corpses, and reached quite the same conclusion.44 As in human medicine, this was more effect than cause: the putridity was caused by a harmful stagnation of bodily fluids; it could have been averted and recovery effected, as one cow master in Houtem declared, ‘principally by freeing up the course of the blood and procuring its usual circulation’.45 This was not a mere rhetorical accident. One influential way of classifying diseases in the eighteenth century was to distinguish between ‘inflammatory’ and ‘putrid’ fevers, while opinion was divided over the nature of fever as a whole.46 Inflammation was mostly associated with a cure of bloodletting, which aimed to remove an excess quantity, or a ‘plethora’, of this fluid. Putrid fevers, on the other hand, were caused by stagnating bodily fluids and treated primarily by laxatives or emetics, while letting blood excessively in these cases was generally considered to be dangerous.47 In the second half of the eighteenth century, there was a move away from seeing fevers, in general, as an inflammatory process.48 Mark Harrison has attributed this to the growing influence of tropical medicine, and in particular the writings of the British Army physicians John Pringle—incidentally a student of Boerhaave—and James Lind. These physicians saw fever as a process primarily involving putridity, particularly in the tropics, and the latter influentially argued against bloodletting as being dangerous in these conditions. Instead, they advocated a therapeutic regime involving Peruvian bark and wine to stimulate the body, as well as purgatives based on antimony to rid the body of putrid substances.49 In the latter half of the eighteenth century, this view proved influential even among physicians practising in Europe.50 Similarly, mercury, particularly in the form of calomel, became generally used against fevers in British India in the 1760s and 1770s, and its use became more common in Europe in subsequent decades.51 It is in this context that John Needham devoted his entire pamphlet to the question of whether rinderpest was fundamentally inflammatory or putrid in nature. His conclusion—it was putrid—as well as his proposed treatment—wine, purgatives, Peruvian bark and other substances which were perceived to have a stimulating or ‘antiseptic’ effect—were not particularly original but align perfectly with that of the wider contemporary debate.52 Chanut, and his teacher Bourgelat, also recommended ‘antiputrids’—by which they meant vinegar, camphor, nitre, Peruvian bark or cinchona—as well as enemas and bloodletting.53 That bloodletting was included in this list is perhaps surprising, given the theoretical changes mentioned above, but blood could be implicated in disease in more than one way. If present in excess, it would cause inflammation, but it could also cause or be involved in a putrefactive process by stagnating or accumulating somewhere it should not. As such, there might be a place for bloodletting in the cure for such an illness, but only in order to start or redirect a beneficial flow of blood rather than for drawing off an excess amount—as was the reason given by, for instance, the cow master of Houtem mentioned above.54 And indeed, while some physicians used this theoretical viewpoint to warn against the letting of any blood, others were content only to caution against letting blood after a certain phase of the infection or in certain places. Others were inspired to advise against the use of certain remedies or used the opportunity to denigrate cow masters for being unaware of the ‘true nature’ of the illness and thus prescribing the wrong remedies.55 Yet this does not mean that there was indeed such a sharp divide between academic and lay medicine: both groups shared the same basic model of the body and of illness—what we may perhaps call the ‘grammar’ of medicine—and as we have seen, cow masters too described the problem as one of putrefaction. Moreover, as with bloodletting, for every physician who warned against a certain remedy, another could be found who explicitly praised it.56 Somers and Vander Woestijne, for instance, warned against letting blood in the tail but were in favour of letting it elsewhere in the beginning of the illness. They preferred antiseptic remedies but saw both theriac and purgatives as harmful. De Scheppere swore by antiseptics and purgatives, and had no problem with repeatedly letting blood. Theriac was recommended preventatively by the anonymous writers of Instruction pour les gens de campagne, while Van Elsacker recommended letting blood repeatedly and in great volume and liked purgatives, but disliked theriac and other ‘heating’ remedies. Many other examples could be given.57 However, we should not pay undue attention to these somewhat superficial differences: the essence of the magic trick lies not in the waving of the wand but in the extraction of the rabbit from the hat. Regardless of their terminological or therapeutic preferences, these physicians fundamentally viewed the body as a conduit of bodily fluids and disease as a stagnation or corruption of these fluids, and sought a cure in the recovery of this balance. As such, the remedies all physicians prescribed were explicitly aimed at cleansing the humours and driving the corrupted fluids out of the body: these consisted of a variety of herbs, minerals and chemicals—particularly those perceived to be sour, bitter or salt and thus ‘antiseptic’ or ‘antiputrid’—as well as bloodletting, purgatives, sudorifics and emetics, and the application of setons or ‘fireroots’.58 Another suggestion commonly seen was to groom the animal repeatedly, ‘this removes loose hairs, cleanses dirty crusts, opens the pores, repairs and increases the perspiration, and by these means a way is opened for the humours to exit the body’.59 The same aetiological reasoning is presented by the Flemish cow master Jan Baptiste Hoornaert. He noted that the lungs of perished animals were particularly ‘rotten’. From this he deduced that animals on which his cures had no effect had already suffered excessive internal damage before external symptoms had become visible. As such, he could promise recovery ‘for those whose internal infection, before the internal manifestation, has not progressed to such an extent’.60 In other words, recovery was a possibility for those animals in which the disease had not yet manifested itself within any specific organ, which happened only after ‘the same [disease] has reached its height within the blood’ and varied depending on the animals’ individual temperament.61 The solution was to let blood, and then to apply measures and drugs to bring the ‘internal fire’ and ‘internal venom’ to the surface and remove it from the body. We can note here the similarity of his reasoning process with that of academic physicians: from visible signs he deduced the hidden causes of the disease, which he then explained by constructing a narrative and treated in a manner appropriate to the individual animals’ constitutions.62 The same attention to observation of the individual animal and the course of the disease, in order to prescribe and adjust treatment regimes, can be found in the testimony of Judocus Hendrickx, another cow master: that he continued with this remedy [a mixture of antimony and powder of colocynth] the following days until he experienced that the animals got great defecation. In order to sustain this with moderation (since it must last barely half a day, and sometimes less, depending on the strength of the animal and the violence of the defecation) he then made a draught.63 In both these cases, we are very far removed from the stereotypical quack or empiric treating only symptoms or applying panaceas. Putrefaction, stagnation and rot also played a large part in the diagnosis by other cow masters; provoking a flow of one bodily fluid or another was the most common curative aim and seen as the first step towards a cure.64 It is clear that at this point we can conclude that there was a shared medical cosmology and that these very different groups talked about the body, disease and cure in much the same terms. In fact, what is especially noteworthy is the extent to which one particularly recent evolution—the emphasis on putrefaction as the cause of sickness and its treatment by certain ‘antiseptic’ substances and purgatives—was evident not only in the writings and actions of physicians, but also in those of cow masters. To some extent, this is probably because the idea that stagnating humours could rot and cause disease was much older than the 1750s.65 However, this renewed emphasis on putrefaction was also associated with a shift towards different drugs used in the treatment of fevers (particularly mineral or chemical remedies that purged or were perceived to counteract putrefaction, such as camphor, nitre or vinegar), and indeed, as the example of Judocus Hendrikx illustrates, cow masters depended heavily on these remedies. The next section will make this abundantly clear. Healing in Practice That cow masters used these newer remedies is interesting not only because it indicates that they shared a basic view of the body and of healing with physicians, but also that shifts in human medicine were concurrent with shifts in veterinary medicine. This inserts the latter topic into a current historiographical debate concerning the transformation of the general practice of medicine in the early modern era: a line of investigation that was reinvigorated by Ian Mortimer’s innovative investigation of probate inventories. Mortimer concluded that significant changes in medicine occurred during the seventeenth century, noting that debts related to medical treatment increased vastly during this period, throughout all social classes, both for consultations by practitioners as well as for drugs. In part, he explained this by a shift towards chemical remedies, associated with the influence of Paracelcism, which were readily available and which encouraged further medicalisation of care for the sick.66 Nuancing this statement, Patrick Wallis noted that non-chemical drugs were imported in ever-growing quantities and varieties into England during the early modern period, the value and volume of the trade growing exponentially between 1567 and 1774.67 Wallis suggested that the continued importance of these Galenic simples argues against a prior radical change in the content of medicine.68 Rather, the opposite might have been the case, as the greater availability of exotic drugs allowed for subsequent new patterns of consumption.69 This dovetails well with the account given by Mark Harrison, who, as we have seen above, situated the rise of chemical drugs and, in his case, specifically antimony well into the second half of the eighteenth century, and linked it to the influence of military and colonial practitioners.70 These two perspectives on the emergence of new remedies—one stressing the (late) seventeenth century, the other the eighteenth century—need not of course be incompatible, given that their acceptance was undoubtedly a long and uneven process.71 But this does raise the question of just how this process proceeded, and whether we might observe in the market for treatments a split between elite and popular practices that is more likely to be absent when it comes to medical cosmology.72 Treatments of rinderpest may offer an interesting case study in this regard, but there is another reason for examining them. Historians have made clear how changes in the nature and availability of medical remedies can affect the supply or the strategies of practitioners. Wallis has argued that the growing availability of exotic and chemical remedies created the room for practitioners’ expertise to be valued.73 In this view the expansion of the medical marketplace in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries went at least hand in hand with an expansion of the materia medica with substances with which people were unfamiliar or which they had difficulty sourcing themselves.74 As we will see, we may postulate that these new remedies created the potential for a veterinary marketplace to arise or expand as well: it is suggestive, for instance, that the evidence Louise Hill Curth presents to argue for the presence of a wide range of veterinary practitioners in early modern England all stems from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.75 There is a limit, however, to the extent that this hypothesis can be tested. The campaign against rinderpest in the 1770s constitutes what Carlo Ginzburg has called ‘the exceptional normal’, that is to say, it was a brief moment in time in which the state and its apparatus shone a light on an otherwise unilluminated aspect of daily life.76 The archival riches they left are unique: certainly so for the Austrian Netherlands and possibly even for the rest of Europe. As such, we can at least compare the remedies used by cow masters with those used by farmers at this one brief point in time: this will show whether this hypothesis is consistent with reality. Remedies that were actually used by either cattle owners or cow masters, rather than prescriptions in pamphlets, left only traces in the archives: their use was prohibited outside those few moments in which experimentation was permitted, and they consequently appear only in occasional reports, allegations of malfeasance (or rebuttals against such allegations), or during trials of remedies. The forms that were distributed in 1771, to be filled in at the scene of every outbreak, contained a question demanding whether remedies had been applied, but this was only answered in the affirmative in 21 out of 853 cases—presumably because of their illicit character and a desire to avoid punishment. I have identified 34 cases—25 by farmers and nine by cow masters—which are identified in Table 3. Table 3. Cases in which remedies were applied to cattle Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  aForm concerning De Deyne, 11 October 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bLetter by local authorities of Liedekerke, 25 February 1772, folder 11181A, Estates of Flanders. cForm concerning Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. dLetter by Vanden Cruyce, 13 December 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. eLetter to De Marloop, 26 November 1771, folder 11180A, Estates of Flanders. fLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. gLetter by Dierickx, 19 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. Also letter by De Marloop, 20 November 1769, folder 600, Bundels Franc of Bruges. hForm concerning d’Huyvetter, 16 October 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. iForm concerning Hanica, 24 July 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. jForm concerning Devier, 4 February 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. kForm concerning Vermote, 10 September 1772, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. lLetter by Huughe and Van Caloen, 23 November 1771, folder 601, Bundels Franc of Bruges. mForm concerning Vercoille, 5 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. nForm concerning Labot, 14 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. oLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. pForm concerning Coppens, 22 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. qLetter by the Franc of Bruges, 20 February 1771, folder 753, Estates of Flanders. rForm concerning Lemmens, 20 December 1771, folder 32007, Estates of Flanders. sLetter by Weemaes, 29 October 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. tForm concerning Caene, 2 December 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. uLetter by Mergaert, 18 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. vForm concerning Sauw, 23 December 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. wForm concerning Le Clerc, 4 January 1772, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. xLetter by Van Vossen, 14 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. yForm concerning Van Loo, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. zLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. aaForm concerning De Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bbForm concerning Dombreght, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ccForm concerning Verdonk, 14 November 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. ddLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. eeForm concerning Storme, 4 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. ffForm concerning Blondeel, 28 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ggForm concerning Bulcke, 14 September 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. Table 3. Cases in which remedies were applied to cattle Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  aForm concerning De Deyne, 11 October 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bLetter by local authorities of Liedekerke, 25 February 1772, folder 11181A, Estates of Flanders. cForm concerning Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. dLetter by Vanden Cruyce, 13 December 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. eLetter to De Marloop, 26 November 1771, folder 11180A, Estates of Flanders. fLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. gLetter by Dierickx, 19 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. Also letter by De Marloop, 20 November 1769, folder 600, Bundels Franc of Bruges. hForm concerning d’Huyvetter, 16 October 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. iForm concerning Hanica, 24 July 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. jForm concerning Devier, 4 February 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. kForm concerning Vermote, 10 September 1772, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. lLetter by Huughe and Van Caloen, 23 November 1771, folder 601, Bundels Franc of Bruges. mForm concerning Vercoille, 5 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. nForm concerning Labot, 14 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. oLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. pForm concerning Coppens, 22 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. qLetter by the Franc of Bruges, 20 February 1771, folder 753, Estates of Flanders. rForm concerning Lemmens, 20 December 1771, folder 32007, Estates of Flanders. sLetter by Weemaes, 29 October 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. tForm concerning Caene, 2 December 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. uLetter by Mergaert, 18 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. vForm concerning Sauw, 23 December 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. wForm concerning Le Clerc, 4 January 1772, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. xLetter by Van Vossen, 14 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. yForm concerning Van Loo, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. zLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. aaForm concerning De Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bbForm concerning Dombreght, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ccForm concerning Verdonk, 14 November 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. ddLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. eeForm concerning Storme, 4 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. ffForm concerning Blondeel, 28 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ggForm concerning Bulcke, 14 September 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. In these 34 cases, a total of 184 individual remedies were mentioned. These were subdivided into six distinct categories: local ingredients (such as herbs that could simply be gathered from nature or a foodstuff that would have been present on the farm anyway), exotic ingredients (herbs or spices, or their derivatives, that were imported and would have been purchased at a pharmacy), chemical ingredients (such as Epsom salts or antimony), procedures (such as bloodletting or the placing of setons) and compounds (items consisting of multiple ingredients which had been prepared by a third party). This last category is the result more of a paucity of information rather than of the existence of ‘ready-made’ elixirs or panaceas: in the case of cattle owners, these compounds usually consisted of a ‘draught’ applied by a cow master. It is important to emphasise here that there is no indication that these draughts were anything other than a melange of the ingredients cow masters typically used. In addition, two ingredients were categorised as ‘unknown’.77 Figure 1 shows how many individuals of each group used at least one ingredient from these categories. As it shows the differences between both groups were marked. There are two aspects in particular to highlight: the use of exotic and chemical ingredients and the specialisation of cow masters in procedures. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Comparison of remedies used by cattle owners (N = 25) and cow masters (N = 9). Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Comparison of remedies used by cattle owners (N = 25) and cow masters (N = 9). A fundamental activity of cow masters was the performance of superficial surgical interventions, such as bloodletting (5 out of 9 cow masters) or placing a seton (6 out of 9). All but one of the cow masters in our sample made such an intervention, often even multiple times, while only three cattle owners performed it themselves. It is clear too that even some cattle owners who apparently felt perfectly able to determine which herbs or remedies were needed for their animals, still called in the help of a cow master when they thought a seton or a bloodletting would be useful.78 It is perhaps not surprising that—in a medical cosmology centred around flows of bodily fluids and their management—these dramatic interventions formed a centrepiece of cow masters’ expertise. In this regard, cow masters and physicians were in agreement. Compare, for instance, the following two quotations concerning the placement of a seton, one by Somers and Vander Woestijne, the other mentioned in Lenaert Van De Poele’s 1714 pamphlet. Many more could be given: this was a veritable staple of veterinary treatment. At the same time it is advisable to hang in the rear haunches and tail, in order to open more than one route for the humours.79 The animals (to bring the evil matter, which has now infected the internal parts, to the exterior, and in this way to dissipate and to cure) first of all have to have fireroots applied or nieswortel (Helleborus niger said in Latin) in two haunches, and the same also in the chest, with the reflection that every haunch has to have three pieces applied of the same fireroot, or nieswortel, within a finger of each other.80 The parallel between the reasons given for this cure is clear. In both cases corrupted bodily fluids had to be directed outside, away from the most important organs. Applying a ‘fireroot’ was thus no mere cosmetic operation: the formation of pus in this wound was interpreted as the ejection of humours that had become dangerous and which had been pulled up to the surface, part of the standard repertoire of cow masters. Like bloodletting, this procedure demonstrated, literally in the flesh, their mastery over blood and humours. We have seen how, in pamphlets, there was occasional discussion over which part of the animal needed to be bled or in which phase of the illness this needed to be done (a similar dispute existed with regards to setons, with one author recommending a seton in the buttocks and another in the dewlap, for instance). Marion Maria Ruisinger has demonstrated quite clearly how discussions of this sort featured quite prominently in contemporary medical literature: Galenic medicine attributed considerable significance to the location where blood was let, and this continued to be emphasised even after Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood had rendered this idea démodé. Ruisinger explains this by consumer preference: patients demanded to be treated in the ‘old way’, and hence it continued to feature in medical textbooks and in medical practice even if medical theory had moved on.81 Aside from consumer preference, cow masters might well have been attracted to these sorts of interventions: even if a cure was not forthcoming, the performance of the surgical intervention itself and the concomitant spectacle of flowing blood or pus would certainly have given the impression of something drastic being done and give the cattle owner the sense of ‘getting his money’s worth’. Given the general sentiment that location and timing were of such vital importance when it came to bloodletting—and that making the correct diagnosis was equally seen to be a speciality skill—we can understand why cattle owners would choose to find a more experienced practitioner to perform them. The remedies that the physicians Somers and Vander Woestijne used in the abbey of Drongen followed these same principles: immediately, the blood of the animals was let and a seton was applied; when pus formed at its site this was interpreted as a sign that the seton was ‘pulling’ bad humours out of the body. Subsequently, the animals were given a ‘mineral mixture’ and oxymel (a mixture of honey and vinegar) in order to counteract ‘internal putrefaction’ and kept under close observation. Depending on their condition the dosage was adjusted, or they were once again let blood ‘in proportion with their years’ or given a seton.82 Bad cases were also given cinchona powder. Animals which were affected by constipation were given an enema; when the mouth was affected, this cavity was rinsed out with vinegar or a decoction of herbs. Finally, weakened animals were given beer or wine to strengthen them, or caramel was mixed into their usual drink.83 The treatment regime that cow master Jan Baptiste Hoornaert instituted a year later differed very little from this. His standard treatment consisted of a ‘sweating potion’ of theriac with beer or wine in order to ‘drive out the internal venom’, as well as a mouthwash of vinegar.84 He also covered animals with hot blankets and fed them porridge. Animals that did not yet show signs of illness, he let blood in the neck in order to rid them of ‘bad blood’. Depending on the progression of the illness and the temperament of the animal he gave orders to give more or less theriac. In bad cases, he also let blood under the tongue and applied a mixture of butter, laurel and cumin seed ‘to remove all internal fire from the liver’ (an organ associated with bile and putrefaction), or hung a sack of heated oats on their heads in order to draw off ‘slimes’.85 Animals with constipation were given a powder of colocynth (a laxative) mixed with milk or the juice of sorrel (a particularly sour-tasting herb). While Jan Baptiste Hoornaert left the most detailed report, his way of working appears to have been nigh-universal among cow masters. They used both traditional remedies, such as theriac, as well as newer, chemical or exotic remedies such as antimony, saltpetre and powder of colocynth or cinchona to purify or remove bodily fluids. In this regard too, while physicians and cow masters were broadly using the same approach, we encounter a fundamental difference between the practices of cattle owners and those of cow masters: while respectively five and seven out of nine cow masters used a chemical or exotic ingredient in their remedies, only one cattle owner did in both cases. Less detail is known with regards to Chanut and his remedies. We know that he wrote down detailed and individualised prescriptions and instruction.86 However, only one recipe can be found in the archives, a preservative remedy. First he bled animals ‘copiously’, and then he gave them a mixture consisting of water, cinchona, nitre, ammonium chloride, camphor, brandy or vinegar, and honey (the latter presumably to get the animal to swallow the potion)—notice that all these ingredients were presumed to have an ‘antiseptic’ or ‘antiputrid’ effect. The size of the dose was to be altered according to the animal’s size and sex. Subsequently, the animal was to be fed with water mixed with grains and salt. The local population found his regime difficult to implement, and Malempré urged him to simplify it—nevertheless, it was a constant struggle to convince cattle owners to use his, and only his, remedies and cures.87 Conclusions The remedies of physicians, licentiates and cow masters alike consisted of the same sort of materials and shared the same purpose: effecting a cure by maintaining or repairing a healthy balance of humours and a normal circulation of bodily fluids. This treatment was individual in the sense that it was adapted to the state and the symptoms of the animal in question: it was not enough to merely let blood or administer a laxative. This process needed to be managed: doses needed to be adapted, flows that were too heavy needed to be calmed while those that did not flow enough needed to be spurred into action. It is on this, the management of the disease and the curative process, that the expertise of all these groups of healers fundamentally rested. We have seen that not only did physicians and cow masters share a medical cosmology—the ‘grammar’ of medicine, as it were; the basic ideas of how body, illness, and cure worked—but even that more superficial shifts in terminology and materia medica reverberated throughout both groups. As such, the idea, widespread throughout the historiography, that the veterinary medicine offered by these lay cow masters was fundamentally different from that offered by academically trained physicians or licentiates of the first veterinary schools, must be unambiguously rejected. There was a difference, however, between the remedies offered by these practitioners and those applied by cattle owners themselves. Exotic and chemical remedies featured heavily in the arsenal of cow masters, while being almost absent from that of cattle owners. How can this be explained? As we have seen, cow masters were prominently present throughout the countryside. With a ratio of 466.5 heads of cattle per practitioner, any cattle owner who desired expert assistance was likely to find one to his liking. This would have created a powerful incentive for cow masters to adapt their treatments to what was desired by cattle owners. We have already discussed this mechanism in the case of bloodletting and setons: visually impressive procedures that not only required considerable skill, but were also central to a medical cosmology that stressed the management and control of flows of bodily fluids. This helps explains, too, the high level of theoretical sophistication we have encountered in cow masters such as Jan Baptiste Hoornaert, as skills were only impressive if they were made valuable within a particular discourse (and concomitantly, theoretical sophistication only if it lead to decisive and masterful interventions): the theory justified the interventions, and the interventions the theory. Similarly, exotic and chemical ingredients provided many things a cattle owner might find worth paying for. They allowed cow masters to intervene in ways that would be unfamiliar to the average cattle owner, creating a frisson of excitement and an air of sophistication and mastery, while generating an array of bodily effects that strengthened the impression of something drastic and effective taking place.88 Within the fluid and free veterinary marketplace, in which cattle owners could consult whom they pleased, we can easily conceive of a scenario in which new ingredients were quickly adapted and spread rapidly due to their success in impressing cattle owners.89 Indeed, their emergence might have caused an extension of the veterinary marketplace, as the influx of these remedies would have prompted the emergence of a more specialised expertise and—if this was also seen as more effective—thus to greater demand for expert practitioners. The notable differences between the remedies used by cattle owners and cow masters certainly argues in favour of the plausibility of this scenario: if true, the implications for the history of medicine—not only that of animals, but that of humans—would be significant. It is high time that the history of veterinary medicine were subject to more scholarly attention, not just as an isolated entity, but as a field capable of effecting change within medicine as a whole. Funding This work was supported by a PhD-fellowship of the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO). Footnotes 1 For an overview, see S. Mishra, ‘An Introduction: Veterinary History Comes of Age’, Social History of Medicine, 2014, https://academic.oup.com/shm/pages/veterinary_history. 2 E.g. C. Stühring, ‘Managing Epizootic Diseases in 18th Century Bavaria’, in S. Cavaciocchi, ed., Economic and Biological Interactions in Pre-Industrial Europe from the 13th to the 18th Centuries (Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2010), 473–80; A. Sundberg, ‘loods, Worms, and Cattle Plague: Nature-induced Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age, 1672–1764’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Kansas, 2015). 3 The attitude is widespread, for instance: L. Wilkinson, ‘Veterinary Cross-Currents in the History of Ideas on Infectious Disease’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1980, 73, 818–27, 821; L. Wilkinson, ‘Rinderpest and Mainstream Infectious Disease Concepts in the Eighteenth Century’, Medical History, 1984, 28, 129–50, 129; J. Blancou, History of the Surveillance and Control of Transmissible Animal Diseases (Paris: Office International des Épizooties, 2003), 176–7; J. Swabe, Animals, Disease and Human Society. Human–Animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine (London: Taylor & Francis, 1999), 82; R. Rommes, ‘“Geen vrolyk geloei der melkzwaare koeijen”. Runderpest in Utrecht in de achttiende eeuw’, in Jaarboek Oud–Utrecht, 2001; 87–135, 126; J. E. Van Wissekerke, Van kwade droes tot erger. Gebruik en veterinaire verzorging van paarden in het leger (1762–1874) (Rotterdam: Erasmus Publishing 2010), 197; L. Devrise, ‘From Mules, Horses and Livestock to Companion Animals: a Linguistic-Etymological Approach to Veterinary History, mirroring Animal and (Mainly) Human Welfare’, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift, 2012, 81, 237–46, 244; C.C. Hannaway, ‘Veterinary Medicine and Rural Health Care in pre-Revolutionary France’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1997, 51, 431–47, 434; D.E. Allen, ‘Herbs for Herbivores: the Prehistory of Veterinary Medicine’, in A. R. Michell, ed., The Advancement of Veterinary Science. The Bicentary Symposium Series. Volume 3. History of the Healing Professions. Parallels between Veterinary and Medical History (Wallingford: CABI, 1999), 39. 4 Taking at face value the writings of contemporary physicians is perhaps also the case, for instance, with R. Hubscher, Les maîtres des bêtes. Les vétérinaires dans la société française (XVIIe-XXe siècle) (Paris: Editions Odile Jacob, 1999), 23–6. 5 L. Hill Curth, The Care of Brute Beasts. A Social and Cultural Study of Veterinary Medicine in Early Modern England (Leiden: Brill, 2010). 6 The nineteenth century is better served by historians—see e.g. A. Woods and S. Matthews, ‘Little, if at all, Removed from the Illiterate Farrier or Cow-leech: The English Veterinary Surgeon, c. 1860–1885, and the Campaign for Veterinary Reform’, Medical History, 2010, 54, 29–54; P. Koolmees, ‘All Sorts of Vets. A Questionnaire on Veterinary Practice in the Netherlands in 1846’, in J. Schäffer, ed., ‘Tielheilkundige’ in Geschichte und Gegenwart. ‘Animal Healers’—Past and Present (Giessen: DVG Servivce GmbH, 2010), 72–85. But see S. Mishra, ‘Beasts, Murrains, and the British Raj: Reassessing Colonial Medicine in India from the Veterinary Perspective, 1860–1900’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2011, 85, 587–619 for a similar concern regarding historiographical neglect of this topic in the context of the history of British colonialism. 7 For the Dutch Republic, see J. A. Faber, ‘Cattle–Plague in the Netherlands during the Eighteenth Century’, Mededelingen van de Landbouwhogeschool te Wageningen, Nederland, 1962, 62, 1–7; P.A. Koolmees, ‘Epizootic diseases in the Netherlands, 1713–2002’, in K. Brown and D. Gilfoyle, eds, Healing the Herds. Disease, Livestock Economies and the Globalization of Veterinary Medicine (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010), 19–41; Rommes, ‘“Geen vrolyk geloei der melkzwaare koeijen”’; and R. Rommes, ‘Twee eeuwen runderpest in Nederland (1700–1900)’, Argos, 2004, 31, 33–40. For Germany, D. Hünniger, ‘Policing Epizootics. Legislation and Administration during Outbreaks of Cattle Plague in Eighteenth–century Northern Germany as Continuous Crisis Management’, in Brown and Gilfoyle, eds, Healing the Herds, 76–91; R.A. Dorwart, ‘Cattle Disease (Rinderpest?)—Prevention and Cure in Brandenburg, 1665–1732’, Agricultural History, 1959, 35, 79–85; and the contributions in K. Engelken, D. Hünniger, and S. Windelen, eds, Beten, Impfen, Sammeln. Zur Viehseuchen- und Schädlings-bekämpfung in der Frühen Neuzeit (Göttingen: Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, 2007). 8 J. Broad, ‘Cattle Plague in Eighteenth-Century England’, Agricultural History Review, 1983, 31, 104–15, 106; L. Wilkinson, Animals & Disease. An Introduction to the History of Comparative Medicine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 42. 9 R. De Herdt, Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van de veeteelt in Vlaanderen, inzonderheid tot de geschiedenis van de rundveepest 1769–1785 (Louvain and Ghent: Belgisch centrum voor landelijke geschiedenis, 1970); F. Van Roosbroeck, ‘Experts, experimenten en veepestbestrijding in de Oostenrijkse Nederlanden, 1769–1785’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 2015, 128, 23–43. 10 Document entitled: ‘Lyste van de geassumeerde experte binnen de casselrye van cortryck voor de besmettelycke sieckte onder het hoornvee als volght’, 7 February 1772, folder 604, archive of the Franc of Bruges (Bundels), Rijksarchief Brugge, Bruges, Belgium (henceforth Bundels Franc of Bruges). 11 They are kept in folders 11156A–11165, archives of the Estates of Flanders, Rijksarchief Gent, Ghent, Belgium (henceforth Estates of Flanders) and folders 32007–32009, archives of the Council of Flanders, Rijksarchief Gent, Ghent, Belgium (henceforth Council of Flanders). For the Duchy of Brabant, 170 similar forms can be found in folder 469, archives of the Estates of Brabant, Rijksarchief Anderlecht, Anderlecht, Belgium. However, these contain much less information. 12 ‘Sieur Mergaert seght my dat sekeren Jan Baptiste Hoornaert woonende tot Handtsaeme redelycken experten koymeester is’. Letter by De Witte, 21 December 1770, folder 599, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 13 Letter by Huughe and Van Caloen, 23 November 1771, folder 601, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 14 Form concerning Antoine Bosset Hyne, 18 October 1773, folder 11164, Estates of Flanders; Form concerning Joannes Markette, 22 November 1773, folder 11163, Estates of Flanders. 15 This was by no means uncommon in the countryside, see, e.g. C. Lis and H. Soly, ‘Bestaanszekerheid versus arbeidsschuld: kleine boeren en keuters, in het bijzonder in Vlaanderen, 1750–1850. Een terreinverkenning’, T. Enghelen, O. W. A. Boonstra and A. Janssens, eds, Levenslopen in transformatie: liber amicorum bij het afscheid van prof. dr. Paul M.M. Klep (Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers, 2011), 261–78; P. Warde, ‘Subsistence and Sales: the Peasant Economy of Württemberg in the Early Seventeenth Century’, Economic History Review, 2006, 59, 289–319. 16 Similar to the crowded marketplace for human medicine. See e.g. S. King and A. Weaver, ‘Lives in Many Hands: The Medical Landscape in Lancashire, 1700–1820’, Medical History, 2000, 44, 173–200; A. Digby, Making a Medical Living. Doctors and Patients in the English Market for Medicine, 1720–1911 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 17 Letter by De Geest, 4 January 1772, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. 18 Cf. L. McCray Beier, Sufferers and Healers. The Experience of Illness in Seventeenth-Century England (London and New York: Routledge, 1987). 19 Hill Curth, The Care of Brute Beasts. See also F. Vallat, Les bœufs malades de la peste (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2009), 240–5. 20 The article that began to blur the boundary between ‘academic’ and ‘folk’ medicine was Roy Porter, ‘The Patient’s View: Doing Medical History from Below’, Theory and Society, 1985, 14, 175–98. Classics from this era include R. Porter, ed., Patients and Practitioners. Lay Perceptions of Medicine in pre-Industrial Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); R. Porter (ed.) The Popularization of Medicine 1650–1850 (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), and McCray Beier, Sufferers and Healers. For a recent overview indicating that the distinction no longer really exists, see e.g. L. W. B. Brockliss and C. Jones, The Medical World of Early Modern France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), M. Lindemann, Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), and M. Stolberg, ‘Learning from the Common Folks. Academic Physicians and Medical Lay Culture in the Sixteenth Century’, Social History of Medicine, 2014, 27, 649–67. 21 D. Gentilcore, ‘Was There a “Popular Medicine” in Early Modern Europe?’, Folklore, 2004, 115, 151–66. Given Gentilcore’s observation that participation in the ‘medical’ sphere was not limited to the elite, and participation in the ‘popular’ sphere not limited to the populace, one wonders whether these adjectives were not somewhat confusingly chosen. See also Stühring, ‘Managing Cattle Epizootics’, 474. 22 For the difficulty of reconstructing medical views, see e.g. Brockliss and Jones, The Medical World, 274 or T. Wijsenbeek-Olthuis, ‘Ziekte en tegenslag. Ziektebeleving in de hoogste kringen van de Republiek in de zeventiende eeuw’, in M. Gijswijk–Hofstra and F. Egmond, eds, Of bidden helpt? Tegenslag en cultuur in Europa, circa 1500–2000 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1997), 71–86, 73. See also E. Leong, ‘Making Medicines in the Early Modern Household’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2008, 82, 145–68; R. Jütte, ‘A Seventeenth-Century German Barber-Surgeon and his Patients’, Medical History, 1989, 33, 184–98; I. Mortimer, ‘The Triumph of the Doctors: Medical Assitance to the Dying, c. 1570–1720. The Alexander Prize Essay’, Transactions of the RHS, 2005, 15, 97–116; C. Loar, ‘Medical Knowledge and the Early Modern English Coroner’s Inquest’, Social History of Medicine, 2010, 23, 475–91; L. Hill Curth, English Almanacs, Astrology and Popular Medicine, 1550–1700 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013) for a sample of the range of sources used. 23 A rare and detailed investigation into the views of one eighteenth-century physician and his patients is B. Duden, The Woman Beneath the Skin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991). That is not to say that valid conclusions may not be reached by interrogating a large and aggragated corpus, of course, but these sort of studies are similarly rare in the history of veterinary medicine. For human medicine though, examples include I. Maclean, Logic, Signs and Nature in the Renaissance. The Case of Learned Medicine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) and M. Stolberg, Experiencing Illness and the Sick Body in Early Modern Europe (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). 24 See F. Van Roosbroeck, ‘Experts, experimenten en veepestbestrijding in de Oostenrijkse Nederlanden, 1769–1785’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 2015, 128, 23–43. 25 E.g. R.H. Dunlop and D.J. Williams, Veterinary Medicine. An Illustrated History (St Louis: Mosby, 1996), 517; Hubscher, Les maîtres des bêtes, 28–32. 26 For these daily reports, see J. Somers and J. Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee, desselfs toevallen en hulp–middels (Ghent, 1769). 27 ‘redelycken experten koymeester’. Letter by De Witte, 21 December 1770, folder 599, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 28 As Michael Stolberg points out, it is often unclear just how knowledge circulated between physicians and laypersons (or indeed other social groups). The extent of this sort of ‘informal reporting’, by letter or (presumably) in person can hardly be underestimated. See Stolberg, ‘Learning from the Common Folks’, 650. This (almost unavoidable) bias towards printed sources has, in my opinion, led to a characterization of the (rural) population that is entirely too passive or traditional. 29 ‘subtil, doordringent en besmettende venyn’. Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 9. 30 ‘contagieuse vergiftige stoffe … van eenen putriden, alkalinen, volatilen, subtilen, penetrerenden, corroderenden aert’. De Scheppere, Oordeel, 10. 31 ‘de gevitieerde, uytgebroude, infecterende stoffe, sig verschillig op d’inwendige deelen, ingewanden &c. door de circulatie hebbende neergestelt’. Ibid., 10. 32 ‘eene getroubleerde perspiratie, de circulatie des bloeds, en laeter d’humeuren t’eenemael vitierende, waer uyt volgen moeten obstructien, corruptien, inflammatien, geswellen, convulsien &c. ende dat de maege ende de ingewanden moeten verliesen hun magt, als mede de zenuwen infaillibelyk buyten hunne actie worden gestelt’. Ibid., 10. 33 De Scheppere, Aenmerckinge, 10 34 Such as a micro-organism, with the concomitant implication that ‘the measure of the disease is no longer the patient’s pathology, but is the successful reproduction of the pathogen in an animal experiment’. C. Gradmann, Laboratory Disease. Robert Koch’s Medical Bacteriology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 68. An excellent overview of how this transition took place is K. Codell Carter, The Rise of Causal Concepts of Disease. Case Histories (Aldershot: AShgate, 2003). 35 ‘dat de byna onerstellyke ravage al gedaen is’. De Scheppere, Oordeel, 9. 36 Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 9. 37 Anonymous, Instruction pour les gens, 8–16. 38 Van Elsacker, Berigt, 12–13; De Scheppere, Aenmerckinge, 6. 39 Van De Walle, Bellona, 8. 40 Anonymous, Ten versoecke; Letter by Vispoel, 19 November 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. 41 E.g. M. Lindemann, Health and Healing in Eighteenth-Century Germany (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 262–71 and M. Fissell, Patients, Power and the Poor in Eighteenth-Century Bristol (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 16–37; J. Duffin, Lovers and Livers: Disease Concepts in History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005). 42 G. A. Lindeboom, Herman Boerhaave. The Man and his Work (Rotterdam: Erasmus Publishing, 2007 [1968]), H. J. Cook, ‘Boerhaave and the flight from reason in medicine’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2000, 74, 221–40; A. Cunningham, ‘Medicine to Calm the Mind: Boerhaave’s Medical System, and Why it was Adopted in Edinburgh’, in A. Cunningham and R. French, eds, The Medical Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 40–66. 43 Duden, The Woman beneath the Skin, 133. See also Stolberg, Experiencing Illness, 95–100 and B. Duden, ‘Fluxes and Stagnations. A Physician’s Perception and Treatment of Humours in Baroque Ladies’, in P. Horden and E. Hsu, eds, The Body in Balance. Humoral Medicines in Practice (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2013), 53–68. 44 For instance Letter by Weemaes, 29 October 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. 45 ‘principalyck met den cours van het bloedt liber te maken ende syne gewoonelycke circulatie te procureeren’. Letter concerning Deschadt, 4 July 1770, folder 597, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 46 Although hardly the only one, as nosology was a rather idiosyncratic and confused affair at the time. M. DeLacy, ‘Nosology, Mortality, and Disease Theory in the Eighteenth Century’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 1999, 54, 261–84, 274. 47 An excellent look at the theories surrounding only one disease, i.e. puerperal fever, is C. Hallett, ‘The Attempt to Understand Puerperal Fever in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries: The Influence of Inflammation Theory’, Medical History, 2005, 49, 1–28. 48 W. F. Bynum, ‘Cullen and the Study of Fevers in Britain, 1760–1820’, Medical History, 1981, supplement 1, 145. 49 Peruvian bark has a rather long and convoluted history, see A. H. Maehle, Drugs on Trial: Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation in the Eighteenth Century (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi Bv Editions, 1999), 221–310. On the use of purgatives, see M. Harrison, ‘Disease and Medicine in the Armies of British India, 1750–1830’, in G. L. Hudson, British Military and Naval Medicine, 1600–1830 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Bv Editions; 2007), 87–120, 93–7. 50 Ibid., 98. 51 Mark Harrison, Medicine in an Age of Commerce & Empire. Britain and its Tropical Colonies 1660–1830 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 146–54. 52 Needham, Mémoire, 4–7. It is worth pointing out at this point that John Needham was an English member of the Theresian Academy of Science and Letters in Brussels, and was certainly familiar with the work of Pringle, quoting him extensively in the later part of his essay. 53 Letter by Bourgelat, 4 August 1769, folder 4444, archive of the Council of Finance, Algemeen Rijksarchief, Brussels, Belgium (henceforth Council of Finance). 54 On redirecting blood flow, see Stolberg, Experiencing Illness, 90–105 and 114–15. 55 For instance, Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 12; De Scheppere, Oordeel, 20. 56 This was by no means an exceptional situation. See A. H. Maehle, ‘Experience, Experiment and Theory: Justifications and Criticisms of Pharmacotherapeutic Practices in the Eighteenth Century’, in J. Helm and R. Wilson, eds, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice in the Eighteenth Century. A Transatlantic Perspective (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2008), 64. 57 Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 10–11 and 17; De Scheppere, Oordeel, 22–4; Anonymous, Instruction pour les gens de campagne (Luxembourg 1769) 16; Van Elsacker, Berigt, 8–9 and 12. The use of theriac was recommended, moreover, in all pamhlets published in the 1740s, both by cow masters as well as physicians, with the exception of that of De Scheppere. 58 The ‘fireroot’ (Helleborus niger or the Christmas rose) served a similar function to the seton (which was sometimes coated with a herbal mixture): it was introduced into the skin of the animal and allowed to fester. The formation of pus was interpreted as the ‘drawing off’ of malevolent humours. 59 ‘hier door worden de los-staende hairen weg-genomen, de vuyle korsten geruymt, de pori geopent, de transpiratie herstelt en vermeerdert, en aldus wordt aen de humoren den weg gebaent om langs desen eensdeels uyt het lichaem te gaen’. Somers en Vander Woestyne, Ontwerp, 15. 60 ‘voor de gonne wiens inwendighe infectatie, voor het inwendigh teekenen, soo verre niet gecomen en is’. Letter by Mergaert, 17 January 1772, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. 61 ‘de selve ten hoogsten in het bloet is gecomen’. Letter by Mergaert, 17 January 1772, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. 62 For the widespread use of this manner of reasoning, particularly among physicians see e.g. Maclean, Logic, Signs and Nature, 148–70 and 276–33. Other cow masters followed the same reasoning process, proceeding from observed exterior signs to deduced internal causes, and from there to a narrative of disease progression and finally to prognosis and cure. E.g. Letter by the local authorities of Bikschote, 28 September 1770, folder 596, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 63 ‘dat hy met die remidie ende op deselfste wyse de volgende daegen voorts gegaen heeft, tot alderstont hy ondervonde, dat de beeste grooten afganck creegh, om welcken met moderatie te doen stutten (: midts die nauwelyx eenen halven dagh magh continueren, ende wel somwylen min, naer advenante van de cloeckte van de beeste, ende de violentie vanden afganck :), dat hy alsdan heeft gemaeckt eenen dranck’. Letter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 748, Estates of Flanders. 64 On diagnosis by the cow masters, see above, and also the testimony of Jacobus Weemaes, who declared the cause of an illness to be ‘a chill in the stomach and in the guts which prevents the circulation of the blood and thickens it’. Letter by Weemaes, 23 December 1770, folder 751, Estates of Flanders. On provoking the flow of bodily fluids, see e.g. Letter by De Backer, 27 March 1773, folder 32006, Council of Flanders; Letter concerning Pieter Deschadt, 4 July 1770, folder 597, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 65 Maclean, Logic, Signs and Nature, 254. 66 I. Mortimer, The Dying and the Doctors. The Medical Revolution in Seventeenth-Century England (Woodbridge and Rochester NY: Royal Historical Society, 2009) 90 and 208. In addition, and in my opinion perhaps more significantly, chemical remedies by their very nature needed to be purchased on the market. Herbal remedies, on the other hand, could quite simply be gathered in the fields and thus wouldn’t show up in Mortimer’s sources. 67 P. Wallis, ‘Exotic Drugs and English Medicine: England’s Drug Trade, c.1550-c.1800’, Social History, 2011, 25, 20–46, 25–7. 68 See also A. Wear, Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550–1680 (Cambridge: Cambrdige University Press, 2000), 399–433; J. K. Crellin, ‘Continuity and Change in Eighteenth-Century Therapeutics’, in Helm and Wilson, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice, 175–96 for the integration of chemical remedies within the Galenic medical mainstream. 69 Wallis, ‘Exotic drugs’, 37–8. 70 Harrison, Medicine in an Age of Commerce & Empire, 146–54. 71 Emphasising the eighteenth century is Maehle, Drugs on Trial, 55–126. Therapeutic developments and changes in this period, especially based on tropical substances, are also covered in T. D. Walker, ‘The Medicines Trade in the Portuguese Atlantic world: Acquisition and Dissemination of Healing Knowledge from Brazil (c. 1580–1800)’, Social History of Medicine, 2013, 26, 403–31; H. J. Cook and T. D. Walker, ‘Circulation of Medicine in the Early Modern Atlantic World’, Social History of Medicine, 2013, 26, 337–51. For authors stressing the (late) seventeenth century, see e.g. N. G. Coley, ‘“Cures without Care”. “Chymical Physicians” and Mineral Waters in Seventeenth-Century English Medicine’, Medical History, 1979, 23, 181–214. For the situation on the continent, where chemical remedies were perhaps accepted at an earlier date, see e.g. A. Lans, ‘Friedrich Hoffman: Medical Theory and Practice’, in Helm and Wilson, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice, 159–73. 72 See footnotes 20–21. 73 Wallis, ‘Exotic Drugs’, 37–8. 74 See also Wear, Knowledge and Practice, 46–103 and 390; R. Porter and D. Porter, ‘The Rise of the English Drugs Industry: the Role of Thomas Corbyn’, Medical History, 1989, 33, 277–95. 75 Curth, The Care of Brute Beasts, 57–63. The only reference in the literature I have found to cow masters in the Low Countries also stems from the seventeenth century: J. Monballyu, ‘Heksen, hun buren en hun vervolgers in de Leiestreek. Een sociale benadering van de heksenprocessen te Olsene en Dentergem in 1660–1670’, in Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent, 2003, 57, 123–84. 76 Citing Edoardo Grendi: C. Ginzburg, The Night Battles. Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013 [1983]), x. 77 Namely ‘Hannecappare’ and ‘elfroucken’, which I have not been able to identify. 78 For instance in the case of Peter Polsit: Letter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. The case of Gondesmit, a horse master, who declared he had been visiting stables in several locales in order to let blood, is also suggestive: Letter by Dierickx, 3 September 1770, folder 599, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 79 ‘Op den selven tydt is het ook geraedig vuur-wortels te steken in de agterste billen en steert, om alsoo aen de humoren meer als eenen weg te openen’. Somers en Vander Woestyne, Ontwerp, 13. 80 ‘Men moet de Beesten (om de quaetaerdige stoffe, die d’inwendige partyen nu geinfecteert heeft, naer’t uytwendigh te brengen, ende alsoo te dissiperen ende cureren) eerst voor al van het Vuûr doen steken met Vuûrwortels of Nieswortel (Helleborus niger in ‘t latyn geseyt) in ’t hangen van de twee Billen, item oock in ’t hangen van de Borste, met de reflectie dat in elcken Bil moet ghesteken worden dry stucken van den voorschreven Vuûr-wortel, ofte Nies-wortel, eenen vinger van elckanderen.’ Anonymous, Ten versoecke. 81 M.M. Ruisinger, ‘The Circulation of Blood and Venesection: On the Relation between Medical Theory and Practice in the Early Eighteenth Century’, in Helm and Wilson, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice, 37–59. 82 ‘naer proportie van hunne jaeren’. Letter by Somers and Vander Woestijne, 20 December 1769, folder 11175, Estates of Flanders, folder, 11175. 83 Letters by Somer and Vander Woestijne, December 1769, folder 11175, Estates of Flanders. 84 ‘inwendigh fenyn uyt te jaeghen’. Letter by Mergaert, 18 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. 85 ‘omme alle inwendighen brandt uyt de levers te dryven’. Ibid. 86 Letter by Malempré, 21 August 1769, folder 4444, Council of Finances. 87 Letter by Malempré, 16 September 1769, folder 4444, Council of Finances. 88 On the emerging air of sophistication and mastery, see P. Wallis, ‘Consumption, Retailing, and Medicine in Early-Modern London’, Economic History Review, 2008, 61, 26–53 for a similar argument involving pharmacists. 89 As Michael Stolberg argues happened in the case of human medicine: Stolberg, ‘Learning from the Common Folks’, 666. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Social History of Medicine. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social History of Medicine Oxford University Press

Caring for Cows in a Time of Rinderpest: Non-academic Veterinary Practitioners in the County of Flanders, 1769–1785

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Abstract

Summary Non-academically trained practitioners of early modern veterinary medicine are still commonly described in decidedly unflattering terms; their practices often conceived of as folkloristic or otherwise static and unchanging. This article examines a group of such veterinary practitioners in the county of Flanders, known as cow masters. It argues that the medicine they practised was theoretically sophisticated and in line with contemporary mainstream medicine, while they made use of a variety of newly available chemical and exotic remedies. It is postulated that these newer remedies augmented the market for specialised practitioners, which has important implications for the history of medicine as a whole. Flanders, veterinary medicine, cow masters, rinderpest, eighteenth century, chemical remedies, exotic remedies Introduction Although recent studies have proved illuminating, there is still much of the history of veterinary medicine that remains in the dark.1 Studies of the field are often focused on the period after the establishment of veterinary schools, or lack the resources to study the earlier period in much depth.2 When mentioned at all, veterinary healers who came before or did not graduate from these schools are commonly described in the harshest of terms, as illiterate or incompetent, offering remedies that were traditional, ‘folk’ or even quackish.3 This image is perhaps perpetuated by taking at face value the writings of contemporary physicians, who commonly castigated non-physicians (or indeed, their fellow doctors) for holding wrong or dangerous beliefs.4 The underlying implication that pre-scientific veterinary medicine was a static entity, the bucolic preserve of cowherds and their handful of hand-me-down home remedies, is often left unstated but is nevertheless far-reaching. Even those historians who have painted a more positive and nuanced picture of early modern veterinary medicine have often treated it as a relatively unchanging entity.5 By ignoring the possibility of change within this culture of veterinary healing, historians have not only paid short shrift to what must have been a vital component of day-to-day experience in the countryside, but have also ignored a potential vector of change within medicine as a whole.6 In this paper, I will investigate the medical beliefs and practices of a group of veterinary healers, the so-called ‘cow masters’, a group quite distinct from blacksmiths or butchers, who were pervasive throughout the countryside of the county of Flanders, under Austrian rule for most of the eighteenth century. The efforts of the central government of the Austrian Netherlands to combat an outbreak of rinderpest, a deadly cattle disease, from 1769 to 1785 meant that these healers were suddenly at the heart of the state’s attention, leading to an unparalleled level of detail that remains in the archives. In this paper, I will focus on three aspects related to this under-investigated group, allowing us to reconstruct the ‘veterinary marketplace’ as it existed within the Austrian Netherlands. First it will investigate the distribution of these cow masters throughout the countryside. Second, attention will shift to their conceptions of animal body and illness, which will be compared to that of physicians and that of a licentiate of the veterinary school of Alfort. Finally, the paper will investigate the remedies that were used and also compare them to those used by cattle owners themselves. As we will see, cow masters were able to articulate their views with remarkable theoretical sophistication and made great use of exotic and chemical remedies: findings that have important implications not just for the history of veterinary medicine, but that of medicine as a whole. The Cow Masters As successive outbreaks of rinderpest affected European nations over the course of the eighteenth century, many of them instated preventative measures. In the Dutch Republic and the German principalities, for instance, these remained limited to quarantines, the application of various remedies, and the burial of dead animals.7 In other polities, the slaughter of infected animals was made mandatory, such as in England and the Papal States.8 In the Austrian Netherlands, of which the county of Flanders formed a part, even stricter policies were introduced from 1769 onwards, including but not limited to preventative slaughter, precautionary inspections and the indemnification of slaughtered animals, in which cow masters played a pivotal role.9 This effort has left us with an excellent source with which to investigate the distribution of cow masters and other experts throughout the countryside. From 1771 onwards, the central government of the Austrian Netherlands distributed pre-printed forms that were to be filled out by a commissioner at the scene of each individual outbreak of bovine illness. In these forms, the diagnosis of rinderpest had to be made and attested by one or more ‘experts’, who were also responsible for valuing the animals which were subsequently slaughtered. In some cases, additional information—such as place of residence or the profession of these experts—was also indicated. For other individuals, this information could be gleaned from the voluminous correspondence accompanying these forms, or in a list of experts appointed by parishes in the castellany of Courtrai.10 Within the 853 Flemish forms, 170 different experts were mentioned: this constitutes the entire known corpus for this region.11 The title of ‘expert’ was used in this context simply to denote someone with the necessary experience or skill to perform a diagnosis, to effect a cure, or to value a head of livestock. Concomitantly, not every expert was a cow master; the word was occasionally used as an adjective, as in the following sentence: ‘Sir Mergaert tells me that a certain Jan Baptiste Hoornaert living in Handzame is a properly expert cow master’.12 Similarly, we sometimes encounter farmers explicitly described as experts but not as cow masters.13 It is thus no surprise that a variety of occupations show up in these forms: 54 of the experts were identified as exercising a particular trade. Of these, 42 were ‘cow masters’. Seven others were described as blacksmiths or butchers: a clear sign that these were distinct trades, an impression strengthened by the 12 who were described as being both cow masters and blacksmiths or butchers. It seems that cow masters were seen to possess a distinct identity, related to—but distinct from—that of other specialists within the realm of cattle care. That is not to say that this was a (proto-) professional group, as there were no overarching institutions that delimited entrance requirements or set standards with regards to education or eligibility. Moreover, references to their own farm or herds show up occasionally in forms or correspondence.14 Cow masters, then, probably did not derive all of their income from their practice but combined it with other occupations and agricultural work.15 Of these 42 experts, the domicile of 14 can be established. Using data from a general cattle count in 1772, we can calculate the ratio between heads of cattle and the number of experts. This analysis is summarised in Table 1, and gives us a median of 466.50 heads per cow master. Table 1. Cow masters per head of cattle for thirteen parishesa Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Note: aSource for number of cow masters, see footnote 5 in the main text. Source for heads of cattle: General cattle count of 1772, folder 11166, Estates of Flanders. Table 1. Cow masters per head of cattle for thirteen parishesa Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Parish  Heads of cattle  Number of cow masters  Animals per cow master  Ardooie  89  2  44.5  Deerlijk  1031  1  1031.0  Denderbelle  363  1  363.0  Desselgem  570  1  570.0  Knesselare  573  1  573.0  Kortrijk  1328  1  1328.0  Nevele  864  1  864.0  Pittem  1206  1  1206.0  Tielt  164  1  164.0  Ursel  93  1  93.0  Vrasene  1454  1  1454.0  Wakken  284  1  284.0  Zandvoorde  343  1  343.0  Aggregate  8430  14  602.14  Mean  660    594.11  Median  565.50    466.50  Note: aSource for number of cow masters, see footnote 5 in the main text. Source for heads of cattle: General cattle count of 1772, folder 11166, Estates of Flanders. This suggests that veterinary practitioners were relatively ubiquitous and their help was easy to find.16 Of course, some caveats regarding this ratio must be highlighted: basing this figure only on the number of animals in the experts’ home parishes may lead to an overestimation if experts were rare elsewhere. However, there is one event in particular that illustrates the crowded field of veterinary practitioners and the many options available to farmers in need of assistance. In January 1772, Commissioner De Geest inspected the stables of Joannes Van Coillie in the village of Oekene on the outskirts of Roeselare (a city in southwest Flanders). He was accompanied by two local cow masters: Joseph De Witte, of the same village, and Joannes Goemaere, living in neighbouring Rumbeke. The two experts agreed that five animals there seemed to be affected by the ‘contagious illness’, but expressed uncertainty. Returning the next morning, they encountered another cow master on the premises, Joseph Van Den Broele, also of Oekene, who vehemently declared it was not rinderpest and that in fact he could have the affected animals cured by the next Sunday. As the two experts accompanying him still professed uncertainty about the nature of the disease, De Geest finally sent for three more cow masters, all living in nearby villages. These experts had all arrived by late afternoon and declared the animals to definitely be ill with rinderpest; the animals were slaughtered.17 In this one incident, then, we encounter six separate practitioners, all living and working in close proximity to the farm in question. Clearly, a farmer in this village wishing to consult with a more knowledgeable practitioner had a wealth of options, and we have no indication that Oekene was in any way an exceptional case. This group of healers was thus prevalent throughout the countryside—a situation comparable, as a matter of fact, to that which existed with regards to practitioners of human medicine.18 Next, we will consider the content of their medical thinking. Thinking about Cows We have seen that pre-scientific veterinary medicine still suffers from some historiographical image problems. Recently, however, Louise Hill Curth has argued that there was a flourishing literary culture of veterinary medicine in early modern England, which fitted coherently into the Galenic views of mainstream (human) medicine. Nevertheless, her sources do not allow her to say much about the day-to-day practice of this veterinary medicine.19 We may perhaps draw a parallel with an earlier stage of the historiography of human medicine: while historians used to see a clear difference between ‘academic’ and ‘folk’ medicine, gradually this boundary became more and more blurred, and indeed today most scholars would reject even the very existence of this dichotomy.20 Nevertheless, David Gentilcore has recently argued that in fact there were important distinctions between what he calls the ‘medical’, the ‘popular’ and the ‘ecclesiastical’ spheres in terms of types of healers, aetiology and sources of healing, an observation also made by Carsten Stühring with regards to early modern veterinary medicine.21 However, the sources which have been used to debate this point—recipe books, case notes, diaries and the like—are still relatively rare and often difficult to work with.22 If this is the case for human medicine, the archival situation with regards to veterinary medicine is many times poorer still.23 In this regard, the many documents relating to the outbreak of rinderpest and its management in the Austrian Netherlands are a welcome exception to the rule, and will allow us to investigate the medical beliefs of the cow masters further. They were not academically schooled healers, but to what extent was their medical worldview similar to that of healers who were so schooled? Is it correct, in other words, to regard pre-scientific veterinary medicine as more folkloristic, traditional or unchanging, as compared to contemporary academic medicine? Can we identify different ‘spheres’, with different notions of aetiology and cure? We can answer these questions since, in the course of the outbreak under discussion, a number of experiments were carried out, which featured physicians, cow masters and a licentiate from the veterinary school of Alfort under the direction of the famed Claude Bourgelat. Neither physicians nor the licentiate were otherwise involved with the state’s policies, but nevertheless were briefly allowed to experiment with remedies.24 The licentiate, Mr Chanut, ran his tests in the summer of 1769. Chanut, unfortunately did not leave too much documentation of his cures. It is, nevertheless, useful to include him: Bourgelat and his students are often described as forerunners to the systematic study of health in animals, and indeed the first that we might call ‘veterinarians’ proper.25 It is thus worth questioning whether both approach and remedies were really all that different from those offered by other sets of practitioners. The physicians, Drs Somers and Vander Woestijne of Ghent, were allowed to experiment in the abbey of Drongen in December 1769. While they are unique in that they are the only physicians to have left behind both a published pamphlet as well as detailed case notes in which they reported their activities to the Estates of Flanders on a daily basis, we might question to what extent they were representative of academic physicians more generally.26 To verify their position vis-à-vis the mainstream, I will draw upon nine other pamphlets and booklets written and/or published by physicians in the Austrian Netherlands concerning rinderpest. Four were written during or after the 1740s outbreak; the remaining five were published during or after that of the 1770s (for ease of reference, all pamphlets used in this paper are listed in Table 2). Table 2. Printed pamphlets used in this paper Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Table 2. Printed pamphlets used in this paper Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Author  Title  City published  Date published  Function  Anonymous (Lenaert Vanden Poele)  Ten versoecke van d’Edele heeren hooghballiu, ende hooft-schepenen van den lande van Waes …  Ghent  1714  Cow master  JBB De Scheppere  Aenmerckinge op de generaele sterfte der beesten door heel Vlaenderen …  Ghent  1744  Physician  Anonymous  Consulte gehouden te St. Pieters-Leeuw …  Ghent  1744  Physician  P Van Breughel and PF De Somer  Relaes nopende de sieckten van het hoorn-vee  Ghent  1744  Physician  J Clays  Schoone remedie tegen de pestilentieuse sieckte der hoorn-beesten  Bruges  1748  Cow master  JL Van De Walle  Bellona, ofte den al-gemeynen boeren oorlog  Dunkirk  1755  Physician  JBB De Scheppere  Oordeel over de nature mitsgaders de generale en particuliere …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Quelque confiance que l’on ait …  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  P Van Elsacker  Berigt aen de lands-lieden  Antwerp  1769  Physician  J Somers and J Vander Woestijne  Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee …  Ghent  1769  Physician  Anonymous  Instruction pour les gens de campagne  Luxembourg  1769  Physician  JT Needham  Mémoire sur la maladie contagieuse des betes a cornes  Brussels  1770  Physician  Finally, as the disease kept spreading throughout the county of Flanders, three cow masters were allowed to perform cures in a number of separate stables in 1771. A record containing varying levels of detail was kept for all three cow masters, but that of Jan-Baptiste Hoornaert is particularly revealing, as an alderman of the castellany of the Franc of Bruges conducted a detailed interview with Hoornaert concerning his remedies and his views of what the disease was. Again this presents us with the question of representativeness: after all, Hoornaert was selected to take part in this trial specifically because this alderman had heard he was a ‘properly expert cow master’.27 As such, he might have been an atypical cow master. To some extent though, it will be possible to compare his thinking with that of others: members of the political elite regularly sent each other recipes or remedies which they had heard about or had seen applied—itself a sign of the regard in which lay knowledge was held—and sometimes cow masters sent reports themselves or were quoted at length by local authorities.28 Moreover, two pamphlets were written or dictated by cow masters and published in 1714 and in 1748 (also listed in Table 2). While all of these trials were judged to be unsatisfactory and did not result in changes in government policy, they nevertheless allow us to take an unprecedented look at the views concerning disease and cure of all three groups. A Sense of Humours What was going on inside the body of the diseased bovine? Here, I will describe how these three different groups answered this question, and from which principles they attempted to counteract this. The views of the physicians are the easiest to reconstruct, as they, as a group, have simply produced the widest selection of publications. The Ghent physicians Somers and Vander Woestijne, for instance, wrote of a ‘subtle, penetrating and contagious venom’ that corrupted all humours, thereby causing a burning heat that unstoppably terminated in ‘gangrene and mortification’.29 Similarly, the physician De Scheperre sought the cause in a ‘contagious poisoning substance … of a putrid, alkaline, volatile, subtle, penetrating, corrosive nature’ which took days or even weeks to effect visible changes.30 He described the signs from which the disease might be recognised during an autopsy, but interestingly he notes that these could in fact be variable—lungs, brains, stomach and intestines could all be affected—and in no way predetermined. That these organs were affected was no more than an effect, happening only when ‘the vitiated, hatched, infectious matter, has differentially settled on the internal parts, organs et cetera through the circulation’.31 The actual cause had to be located in ‘a troubled perspiration, the circulation of the blood, and later totally vitiating the humours, from which must follow obstructions, corruptions, inflammations, swellings, convulsions et cetera and that the stomach and the intestines must lose their power, as well as unfailingly incapacitating the nerves’.32 The terminology is a little different from that of his earlier 1744 pamphlet, but both this aetiology as well as its remedy remained exactly the same: ‘To gain the cure of the sick animals, one has to generally keep one’s eye on: 1. Averting obstructions. 2. Preventing corruptions. 3. Repairing the circulation of the humours.’33 The conception of illness that is articulated here is of course not a modern one, in which certain symptoms are caused by pathological changes in a particular organ that have one specific cause.34 On the contrary: organs were affected directly only in a second phase, at a time when ‘the almost irremediable damage is already done’, which was a visible sign of, but in no way the cause of the disease.35 The speed with which the infection progressed depended on traditional Galenic factors such as the age, temperament, food and surroundings of the animal.36 For some authors, this list of contributory factors extended to the environment: the writers of Instruction pour les gens de campagne, for instance, warned of the dangers of a hot spring followed by a cold and wet summer, generating disease-causing fogs. Thankfully, their effects could be counteracted with a preventative regime of purgatives and other drugs, in effect altering the animals’ constitution in response to atmospheric conditions.37 Similar instructions were given by other writers, but this never precluded these authors from also giving stringent warnings about preventing communication with infected animals, or people who might have come into contact with them: while atmospheric conditions could give rise to, or aggravate, the illness, they were never necessary to its spread.38 Even Judocus-Leonardus Van De Walle, who quoted Sydenham to argue that the immediate cause of the disease was to be found in the atmospheric constitution, recommended separating healthy animals from those infected.39 Cow masters too, in their pamphlets as well as in practice, recommended this preventative measure.40 The conception of the body and of illness that seems to have been at work here was no different from that of mainstream human medicine.41 The famous Dutch physician Herman Boerhaave, who was influential throughout the eighteenth century, for instance, described the body as a hydraulic system, in which health was dependent on a smooth and unhindered circulation of bodily fluids within a frame of ‘solids’.42 The reconstruction which Barbara Duden made of the views of the eighteenth-century German physician Johannes Storch and his patients shows a similar picture: inside the body, fluids and humours circulated, unrestrained by anatomical structures. It was the task of the physician to encourage healthy circulations, correct wrong movements or blockages and expel corruptions or excesses from the body.43 One could characterise this view as a sort of ‘filtered’ Galenism, which had lost its extensive connection with Aristotelian physics and had essentially become a plumbing of sorts, concerned as it was with the management of a range of bodily fluids and humours in permanent flux. The authors we have cited above also underlined, when talking about the autopsies of animals felled by rinderpest, the ‘gangrenousness’ or ‘putridity’ of what they found inside. Cow masters too opened up corpses, and reached quite the same conclusion.44 As in human medicine, this was more effect than cause: the putridity was caused by a harmful stagnation of bodily fluids; it could have been averted and recovery effected, as one cow master in Houtem declared, ‘principally by freeing up the course of the blood and procuring its usual circulation’.45 This was not a mere rhetorical accident. One influential way of classifying diseases in the eighteenth century was to distinguish between ‘inflammatory’ and ‘putrid’ fevers, while opinion was divided over the nature of fever as a whole.46 Inflammation was mostly associated with a cure of bloodletting, which aimed to remove an excess quantity, or a ‘plethora’, of this fluid. Putrid fevers, on the other hand, were caused by stagnating bodily fluids and treated primarily by laxatives or emetics, while letting blood excessively in these cases was generally considered to be dangerous.47 In the second half of the eighteenth century, there was a move away from seeing fevers, in general, as an inflammatory process.48 Mark Harrison has attributed this to the growing influence of tropical medicine, and in particular the writings of the British Army physicians John Pringle—incidentally a student of Boerhaave—and James Lind. These physicians saw fever as a process primarily involving putridity, particularly in the tropics, and the latter influentially argued against bloodletting as being dangerous in these conditions. Instead, they advocated a therapeutic regime involving Peruvian bark and wine to stimulate the body, as well as purgatives based on antimony to rid the body of putrid substances.49 In the latter half of the eighteenth century, this view proved influential even among physicians practising in Europe.50 Similarly, mercury, particularly in the form of calomel, became generally used against fevers in British India in the 1760s and 1770s, and its use became more common in Europe in subsequent decades.51 It is in this context that John Needham devoted his entire pamphlet to the question of whether rinderpest was fundamentally inflammatory or putrid in nature. His conclusion—it was putrid—as well as his proposed treatment—wine, purgatives, Peruvian bark and other substances which were perceived to have a stimulating or ‘antiseptic’ effect—were not particularly original but align perfectly with that of the wider contemporary debate.52 Chanut, and his teacher Bourgelat, also recommended ‘antiputrids’—by which they meant vinegar, camphor, nitre, Peruvian bark or cinchona—as well as enemas and bloodletting.53 That bloodletting was included in this list is perhaps surprising, given the theoretical changes mentioned above, but blood could be implicated in disease in more than one way. If present in excess, it would cause inflammation, but it could also cause or be involved in a putrefactive process by stagnating or accumulating somewhere it should not. As such, there might be a place for bloodletting in the cure for such an illness, but only in order to start or redirect a beneficial flow of blood rather than for drawing off an excess amount—as was the reason given by, for instance, the cow master of Houtem mentioned above.54 And indeed, while some physicians used this theoretical viewpoint to warn against the letting of any blood, others were content only to caution against letting blood after a certain phase of the infection or in certain places. Others were inspired to advise against the use of certain remedies or used the opportunity to denigrate cow masters for being unaware of the ‘true nature’ of the illness and thus prescribing the wrong remedies.55 Yet this does not mean that there was indeed such a sharp divide between academic and lay medicine: both groups shared the same basic model of the body and of illness—what we may perhaps call the ‘grammar’ of medicine—and as we have seen, cow masters too described the problem as one of putrefaction. Moreover, as with bloodletting, for every physician who warned against a certain remedy, another could be found who explicitly praised it.56 Somers and Vander Woestijne, for instance, warned against letting blood in the tail but were in favour of letting it elsewhere in the beginning of the illness. They preferred antiseptic remedies but saw both theriac and purgatives as harmful. De Scheppere swore by antiseptics and purgatives, and had no problem with repeatedly letting blood. Theriac was recommended preventatively by the anonymous writers of Instruction pour les gens de campagne, while Van Elsacker recommended letting blood repeatedly and in great volume and liked purgatives, but disliked theriac and other ‘heating’ remedies. Many other examples could be given.57 However, we should not pay undue attention to these somewhat superficial differences: the essence of the magic trick lies not in the waving of the wand but in the extraction of the rabbit from the hat. Regardless of their terminological or therapeutic preferences, these physicians fundamentally viewed the body as a conduit of bodily fluids and disease as a stagnation or corruption of these fluids, and sought a cure in the recovery of this balance. As such, the remedies all physicians prescribed were explicitly aimed at cleansing the humours and driving the corrupted fluids out of the body: these consisted of a variety of herbs, minerals and chemicals—particularly those perceived to be sour, bitter or salt and thus ‘antiseptic’ or ‘antiputrid’—as well as bloodletting, purgatives, sudorifics and emetics, and the application of setons or ‘fireroots’.58 Another suggestion commonly seen was to groom the animal repeatedly, ‘this removes loose hairs, cleanses dirty crusts, opens the pores, repairs and increases the perspiration, and by these means a way is opened for the humours to exit the body’.59 The same aetiological reasoning is presented by the Flemish cow master Jan Baptiste Hoornaert. He noted that the lungs of perished animals were particularly ‘rotten’. From this he deduced that animals on which his cures had no effect had already suffered excessive internal damage before external symptoms had become visible. As such, he could promise recovery ‘for those whose internal infection, before the internal manifestation, has not progressed to such an extent’.60 In other words, recovery was a possibility for those animals in which the disease had not yet manifested itself within any specific organ, which happened only after ‘the same [disease] has reached its height within the blood’ and varied depending on the animals’ individual temperament.61 The solution was to let blood, and then to apply measures and drugs to bring the ‘internal fire’ and ‘internal venom’ to the surface and remove it from the body. We can note here the similarity of his reasoning process with that of academic physicians: from visible signs he deduced the hidden causes of the disease, which he then explained by constructing a narrative and treated in a manner appropriate to the individual animals’ constitutions.62 The same attention to observation of the individual animal and the course of the disease, in order to prescribe and adjust treatment regimes, can be found in the testimony of Judocus Hendrickx, another cow master: that he continued with this remedy [a mixture of antimony and powder of colocynth] the following days until he experienced that the animals got great defecation. In order to sustain this with moderation (since it must last barely half a day, and sometimes less, depending on the strength of the animal and the violence of the defecation) he then made a draught.63 In both these cases, we are very far removed from the stereotypical quack or empiric treating only symptoms or applying panaceas. Putrefaction, stagnation and rot also played a large part in the diagnosis by other cow masters; provoking a flow of one bodily fluid or another was the most common curative aim and seen as the first step towards a cure.64 It is clear that at this point we can conclude that there was a shared medical cosmology and that these very different groups talked about the body, disease and cure in much the same terms. In fact, what is especially noteworthy is the extent to which one particularly recent evolution—the emphasis on putrefaction as the cause of sickness and its treatment by certain ‘antiseptic’ substances and purgatives—was evident not only in the writings and actions of physicians, but also in those of cow masters. To some extent, this is probably because the idea that stagnating humours could rot and cause disease was much older than the 1750s.65 However, this renewed emphasis on putrefaction was also associated with a shift towards different drugs used in the treatment of fevers (particularly mineral or chemical remedies that purged or were perceived to counteract putrefaction, such as camphor, nitre or vinegar), and indeed, as the example of Judocus Hendrikx illustrates, cow masters depended heavily on these remedies. The next section will make this abundantly clear. Healing in Practice That cow masters used these newer remedies is interesting not only because it indicates that they shared a basic view of the body and of healing with physicians, but also that shifts in human medicine were concurrent with shifts in veterinary medicine. This inserts the latter topic into a current historiographical debate concerning the transformation of the general practice of medicine in the early modern era: a line of investigation that was reinvigorated by Ian Mortimer’s innovative investigation of probate inventories. Mortimer concluded that significant changes in medicine occurred during the seventeenth century, noting that debts related to medical treatment increased vastly during this period, throughout all social classes, both for consultations by practitioners as well as for drugs. In part, he explained this by a shift towards chemical remedies, associated with the influence of Paracelcism, which were readily available and which encouraged further medicalisation of care for the sick.66 Nuancing this statement, Patrick Wallis noted that non-chemical drugs were imported in ever-growing quantities and varieties into England during the early modern period, the value and volume of the trade growing exponentially between 1567 and 1774.67 Wallis suggested that the continued importance of these Galenic simples argues against a prior radical change in the content of medicine.68 Rather, the opposite might have been the case, as the greater availability of exotic drugs allowed for subsequent new patterns of consumption.69 This dovetails well with the account given by Mark Harrison, who, as we have seen above, situated the rise of chemical drugs and, in his case, specifically antimony well into the second half of the eighteenth century, and linked it to the influence of military and colonial practitioners.70 These two perspectives on the emergence of new remedies—one stressing the (late) seventeenth century, the other the eighteenth century—need not of course be incompatible, given that their acceptance was undoubtedly a long and uneven process.71 But this does raise the question of just how this process proceeded, and whether we might observe in the market for treatments a split between elite and popular practices that is more likely to be absent when it comes to medical cosmology.72 Treatments of rinderpest may offer an interesting case study in this regard, but there is another reason for examining them. Historians have made clear how changes in the nature and availability of medical remedies can affect the supply or the strategies of practitioners. Wallis has argued that the growing availability of exotic and chemical remedies created the room for practitioners’ expertise to be valued.73 In this view the expansion of the medical marketplace in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries went at least hand in hand with an expansion of the materia medica with substances with which people were unfamiliar or which they had difficulty sourcing themselves.74 As we will see, we may postulate that these new remedies created the potential for a veterinary marketplace to arise or expand as well: it is suggestive, for instance, that the evidence Louise Hill Curth presents to argue for the presence of a wide range of veterinary practitioners in early modern England all stems from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.75 There is a limit, however, to the extent that this hypothesis can be tested. The campaign against rinderpest in the 1770s constitutes what Carlo Ginzburg has called ‘the exceptional normal’, that is to say, it was a brief moment in time in which the state and its apparatus shone a light on an otherwise unilluminated aspect of daily life.76 The archival riches they left are unique: certainly so for the Austrian Netherlands and possibly even for the rest of Europe. As such, we can at least compare the remedies used by cow masters with those used by farmers at this one brief point in time: this will show whether this hypothesis is consistent with reality. Remedies that were actually used by either cattle owners or cow masters, rather than prescriptions in pamphlets, left only traces in the archives: their use was prohibited outside those few moments in which experimentation was permitted, and they consequently appear only in occasional reports, allegations of malfeasance (or rebuttals against such allegations), or during trials of remedies. The forms that were distributed in 1771, to be filled in at the scene of every outbreak, contained a question demanding whether remedies had been applied, but this was only answered in the affirmative in 21 out of 853 cases—presumably because of their illicit character and a desire to avoid punishment. I have identified 34 cases—25 by farmers and nine by cow masters—which are identified in Table 3. Table 3. Cases in which remedies were applied to cattle Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  aForm concerning De Deyne, 11 October 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bLetter by local authorities of Liedekerke, 25 February 1772, folder 11181A, Estates of Flanders. cForm concerning Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. dLetter by Vanden Cruyce, 13 December 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. eLetter to De Marloop, 26 November 1771, folder 11180A, Estates of Flanders. fLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. gLetter by Dierickx, 19 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. Also letter by De Marloop, 20 November 1769, folder 600, Bundels Franc of Bruges. hForm concerning d’Huyvetter, 16 October 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. iForm concerning Hanica, 24 July 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. jForm concerning Devier, 4 February 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. kForm concerning Vermote, 10 September 1772, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. lLetter by Huughe and Van Caloen, 23 November 1771, folder 601, Bundels Franc of Bruges. mForm concerning Vercoille, 5 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. nForm concerning Labot, 14 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. oLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. pForm concerning Coppens, 22 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. qLetter by the Franc of Bruges, 20 February 1771, folder 753, Estates of Flanders. rForm concerning Lemmens, 20 December 1771, folder 32007, Estates of Flanders. sLetter by Weemaes, 29 October 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. tForm concerning Caene, 2 December 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. uLetter by Mergaert, 18 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. vForm concerning Sauw, 23 December 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. wForm concerning Le Clerc, 4 January 1772, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. xLetter by Van Vossen, 14 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. yForm concerning Van Loo, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. zLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. aaForm concerning De Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bbForm concerning Dombreght, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ccForm concerning Verdonk, 14 November 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. ddLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. eeForm concerning Storme, 4 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. ffForm concerning Blondeel, 28 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ggForm concerning Bulcke, 14 September 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. Table 3. Cases in which remedies were applied to cattle Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  Name  Type  Location  Occasion  Date  Adriaan De Deynea  Cattle owner  Brugge  Form  11/10/1771  Adriaen Van Nieuwenhoveb  Cow master  Liedekerke  Malfeasance  25/02/1772  Andries Meulenarec  Cattle owner  Wachtebeke  Form  16/12/1771  Anonymousd  Cattle owner  Oosterweel  Report  13/12/1769  Anonymouse  Cattle owner  Gaveren  Malfeasance  26/11/1771  Anonymousf  Cow master  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Anonymousg  Cow master  Kalmthout  Report  19/11/1769  Augustyn d’Huyvetterh  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  16/10/1773  Bernaert Hanicai  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  24/07/1771  Bruno Duvierj  Cattle owner  Waasten  Form  02/02/1772  Cosmas Vermotek  Cattle owner  Schore  Form  07/09/1771  Francis Lanssens  Cattle owner  Lichtervelde  Form  04/10/1771  Francois Hubertl  Cattle owner  Bredene  Report  23/11/1771  Frans Vercoillem  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  05/11/1773  Gabriel Labotn  Cattle owner  Sijsele  Form  14/10/1771  Gillis De Kocko  Cattle owner  Daknam  Report  13/11/1769  Guillielmus Coppensp  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  14/07/1771  HB Asset and Frans Fonteyneq  Cow master  Leffinge  Trial  20/02/1771  Hendrick Lemmensr  Cattle owner  Kemmel  Form  20/12/1771  Jacobus Weemaes, Joannes  Cow master  Daknam  Report  29/10/1769   de Brauwer, Francis De Buss          Jacques Caenet  Cattle owner  Harine  Form  12/11/1772  Jan Baptiste Hoornaertu  Cow master  Beerst  Trial  18/01/1771  Jan Sauwv  Cattle owner  Marke  Form  23/12/1771  Jean Baptiste Le Clercw  Cattle owner  Komen  Form  04/01/1772  Joannes Terrierex  Cow master  Esen  Trial  14/01/1771  Joannes Van Looy  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Judocus Hendricxkz  Cow master  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Judocus Hersensaa  Cow master  Wachtebeke  Form  21/12/1771  Martinus Dombreghtbb  Cattle owner  Moerkerke  Form  23/07/1771  Olivier Verdonkcc  Cattle owner  Waasmunster  Form  14/11/1772  Peter Polsitdd  Cattle owner  Zaffelare  Report  09/12/1769  Pieter Amandus Stormeee  Cattle owner  Wakken  Form  04/11/1773  Pieter Blondeelff  Cattle owner  Maldegem  Form  28/10/1771  Pieter Bulckegg  Cattle owner  Koekelare  Form  14/09/1771  aForm concerning De Deyne, 11 October 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bLetter by local authorities of Liedekerke, 25 February 1772, folder 11181A, Estates of Flanders. cForm concerning Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. dLetter by Vanden Cruyce, 13 December 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. eLetter to De Marloop, 26 November 1771, folder 11180A, Estates of Flanders. fLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. gLetter by Dierickx, 19 November 1769, folder 747, Estates of Flanders. Also letter by De Marloop, 20 November 1769, folder 600, Bundels Franc of Bruges. hForm concerning d’Huyvetter, 16 October 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. iForm concerning Hanica, 24 July 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. jForm concerning Devier, 4 February 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. kForm concerning Vermote, 10 September 1772, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. lLetter by Huughe and Van Caloen, 23 November 1771, folder 601, Bundels Franc of Bruges. mForm concerning Vercoille, 5 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. nForm concerning Labot, 14 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. oLetter by Dierickx, 13 November 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. pForm concerning Coppens, 22 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. qLetter by the Franc of Bruges, 20 February 1771, folder 753, Estates of Flanders. rForm concerning Lemmens, 20 December 1771, folder 32007, Estates of Flanders. sLetter by Weemaes, 29 October 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. tForm concerning Caene, 2 December 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. uLetter by Mergaert, 18 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. vForm concerning Sauw, 23 December 1771, folder 11156A, Estates of Flanders. wForm concerning Le Clerc, 4 January 1772, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. xLetter by Van Vossen, 14 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. yForm concerning Van Loo, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. zLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. aaForm concerning De Meulenare, 21 December 1771, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. bbForm concerning Dombreght, 23 July 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ccForm concerning Verdonk, 14 November 1772, folder 11158A, Estates of Flanders. ddLetter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. eeForm concerning Storme, 4 November 1773, folder 11159C, Estates of Flanders. ffForm concerning Blondeel, 28 October 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. ggForm concerning Bulcke, 14 September 1771, folder 32009, Council of Flanders. In these 34 cases, a total of 184 individual remedies were mentioned. These were subdivided into six distinct categories: local ingredients (such as herbs that could simply be gathered from nature or a foodstuff that would have been present on the farm anyway), exotic ingredients (herbs or spices, or their derivatives, that were imported and would have been purchased at a pharmacy), chemical ingredients (such as Epsom salts or antimony), procedures (such as bloodletting or the placing of setons) and compounds (items consisting of multiple ingredients which had been prepared by a third party). This last category is the result more of a paucity of information rather than of the existence of ‘ready-made’ elixirs or panaceas: in the case of cattle owners, these compounds usually consisted of a ‘draught’ applied by a cow master. It is important to emphasise here that there is no indication that these draughts were anything other than a melange of the ingredients cow masters typically used. In addition, two ingredients were categorised as ‘unknown’.77 Figure 1 shows how many individuals of each group used at least one ingredient from these categories. As it shows the differences between both groups were marked. There are two aspects in particular to highlight: the use of exotic and chemical ingredients and the specialisation of cow masters in procedures. Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Comparison of remedies used by cattle owners (N = 25) and cow masters (N = 9). Figure 1. View largeDownload slide Comparison of remedies used by cattle owners (N = 25) and cow masters (N = 9). A fundamental activity of cow masters was the performance of superficial surgical interventions, such as bloodletting (5 out of 9 cow masters) or placing a seton (6 out of 9). All but one of the cow masters in our sample made such an intervention, often even multiple times, while only three cattle owners performed it themselves. It is clear too that even some cattle owners who apparently felt perfectly able to determine which herbs or remedies were needed for their animals, still called in the help of a cow master when they thought a seton or a bloodletting would be useful.78 It is perhaps not surprising that—in a medical cosmology centred around flows of bodily fluids and their management—these dramatic interventions formed a centrepiece of cow masters’ expertise. In this regard, cow masters and physicians were in agreement. Compare, for instance, the following two quotations concerning the placement of a seton, one by Somers and Vander Woestijne, the other mentioned in Lenaert Van De Poele’s 1714 pamphlet. Many more could be given: this was a veritable staple of veterinary treatment. At the same time it is advisable to hang in the rear haunches and tail, in order to open more than one route for the humours.79 The animals (to bring the evil matter, which has now infected the internal parts, to the exterior, and in this way to dissipate and to cure) first of all have to have fireroots applied or nieswortel (Helleborus niger said in Latin) in two haunches, and the same also in the chest, with the reflection that every haunch has to have three pieces applied of the same fireroot, or nieswortel, within a finger of each other.80 The parallel between the reasons given for this cure is clear. In both cases corrupted bodily fluids had to be directed outside, away from the most important organs. Applying a ‘fireroot’ was thus no mere cosmetic operation: the formation of pus in this wound was interpreted as the ejection of humours that had become dangerous and which had been pulled up to the surface, part of the standard repertoire of cow masters. Like bloodletting, this procedure demonstrated, literally in the flesh, their mastery over blood and humours. We have seen how, in pamphlets, there was occasional discussion over which part of the animal needed to be bled or in which phase of the illness this needed to be done (a similar dispute existed with regards to setons, with one author recommending a seton in the buttocks and another in the dewlap, for instance). Marion Maria Ruisinger has demonstrated quite clearly how discussions of this sort featured quite prominently in contemporary medical literature: Galenic medicine attributed considerable significance to the location where blood was let, and this continued to be emphasised even after Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood had rendered this idea démodé. Ruisinger explains this by consumer preference: patients demanded to be treated in the ‘old way’, and hence it continued to feature in medical textbooks and in medical practice even if medical theory had moved on.81 Aside from consumer preference, cow masters might well have been attracted to these sorts of interventions: even if a cure was not forthcoming, the performance of the surgical intervention itself and the concomitant spectacle of flowing blood or pus would certainly have given the impression of something drastic being done and give the cattle owner the sense of ‘getting his money’s worth’. Given the general sentiment that location and timing were of such vital importance when it came to bloodletting—and that making the correct diagnosis was equally seen to be a speciality skill—we can understand why cattle owners would choose to find a more experienced practitioner to perform them. The remedies that the physicians Somers and Vander Woestijne used in the abbey of Drongen followed these same principles: immediately, the blood of the animals was let and a seton was applied; when pus formed at its site this was interpreted as a sign that the seton was ‘pulling’ bad humours out of the body. Subsequently, the animals were given a ‘mineral mixture’ and oxymel (a mixture of honey and vinegar) in order to counteract ‘internal putrefaction’ and kept under close observation. Depending on their condition the dosage was adjusted, or they were once again let blood ‘in proportion with their years’ or given a seton.82 Bad cases were also given cinchona powder. Animals which were affected by constipation were given an enema; when the mouth was affected, this cavity was rinsed out with vinegar or a decoction of herbs. Finally, weakened animals were given beer or wine to strengthen them, or caramel was mixed into their usual drink.83 The treatment regime that cow master Jan Baptiste Hoornaert instituted a year later differed very little from this. His standard treatment consisted of a ‘sweating potion’ of theriac with beer or wine in order to ‘drive out the internal venom’, as well as a mouthwash of vinegar.84 He also covered animals with hot blankets and fed them porridge. Animals that did not yet show signs of illness, he let blood in the neck in order to rid them of ‘bad blood’. Depending on the progression of the illness and the temperament of the animal he gave orders to give more or less theriac. In bad cases, he also let blood under the tongue and applied a mixture of butter, laurel and cumin seed ‘to remove all internal fire from the liver’ (an organ associated with bile and putrefaction), or hung a sack of heated oats on their heads in order to draw off ‘slimes’.85 Animals with constipation were given a powder of colocynth (a laxative) mixed with milk or the juice of sorrel (a particularly sour-tasting herb). While Jan Baptiste Hoornaert left the most detailed report, his way of working appears to have been nigh-universal among cow masters. They used both traditional remedies, such as theriac, as well as newer, chemical or exotic remedies such as antimony, saltpetre and powder of colocynth or cinchona to purify or remove bodily fluids. In this regard too, while physicians and cow masters were broadly using the same approach, we encounter a fundamental difference between the practices of cattle owners and those of cow masters: while respectively five and seven out of nine cow masters used a chemical or exotic ingredient in their remedies, only one cattle owner did in both cases. Less detail is known with regards to Chanut and his remedies. We know that he wrote down detailed and individualised prescriptions and instruction.86 However, only one recipe can be found in the archives, a preservative remedy. First he bled animals ‘copiously’, and then he gave them a mixture consisting of water, cinchona, nitre, ammonium chloride, camphor, brandy or vinegar, and honey (the latter presumably to get the animal to swallow the potion)—notice that all these ingredients were presumed to have an ‘antiseptic’ or ‘antiputrid’ effect. The size of the dose was to be altered according to the animal’s size and sex. Subsequently, the animal was to be fed with water mixed with grains and salt. The local population found his regime difficult to implement, and Malempré urged him to simplify it—nevertheless, it was a constant struggle to convince cattle owners to use his, and only his, remedies and cures.87 Conclusions The remedies of physicians, licentiates and cow masters alike consisted of the same sort of materials and shared the same purpose: effecting a cure by maintaining or repairing a healthy balance of humours and a normal circulation of bodily fluids. This treatment was individual in the sense that it was adapted to the state and the symptoms of the animal in question: it was not enough to merely let blood or administer a laxative. This process needed to be managed: doses needed to be adapted, flows that were too heavy needed to be calmed while those that did not flow enough needed to be spurred into action. It is on this, the management of the disease and the curative process, that the expertise of all these groups of healers fundamentally rested. We have seen that not only did physicians and cow masters share a medical cosmology—the ‘grammar’ of medicine, as it were; the basic ideas of how body, illness, and cure worked—but even that more superficial shifts in terminology and materia medica reverberated throughout both groups. As such, the idea, widespread throughout the historiography, that the veterinary medicine offered by these lay cow masters was fundamentally different from that offered by academically trained physicians or licentiates of the first veterinary schools, must be unambiguously rejected. There was a difference, however, between the remedies offered by these practitioners and those applied by cattle owners themselves. Exotic and chemical remedies featured heavily in the arsenal of cow masters, while being almost absent from that of cattle owners. How can this be explained? As we have seen, cow masters were prominently present throughout the countryside. With a ratio of 466.5 heads of cattle per practitioner, any cattle owner who desired expert assistance was likely to find one to his liking. This would have created a powerful incentive for cow masters to adapt their treatments to what was desired by cattle owners. We have already discussed this mechanism in the case of bloodletting and setons: visually impressive procedures that not only required considerable skill, but were also central to a medical cosmology that stressed the management and control of flows of bodily fluids. This helps explains, too, the high level of theoretical sophistication we have encountered in cow masters such as Jan Baptiste Hoornaert, as skills were only impressive if they were made valuable within a particular discourse (and concomitantly, theoretical sophistication only if it lead to decisive and masterful interventions): the theory justified the interventions, and the interventions the theory. Similarly, exotic and chemical ingredients provided many things a cattle owner might find worth paying for. They allowed cow masters to intervene in ways that would be unfamiliar to the average cattle owner, creating a frisson of excitement and an air of sophistication and mastery, while generating an array of bodily effects that strengthened the impression of something drastic and effective taking place.88 Within the fluid and free veterinary marketplace, in which cattle owners could consult whom they pleased, we can easily conceive of a scenario in which new ingredients were quickly adapted and spread rapidly due to their success in impressing cattle owners.89 Indeed, their emergence might have caused an extension of the veterinary marketplace, as the influx of these remedies would have prompted the emergence of a more specialised expertise and—if this was also seen as more effective—thus to greater demand for expert practitioners. The notable differences between the remedies used by cattle owners and cow masters certainly argues in favour of the plausibility of this scenario: if true, the implications for the history of medicine—not only that of animals, but that of humans—would be significant. It is high time that the history of veterinary medicine were subject to more scholarly attention, not just as an isolated entity, but as a field capable of effecting change within medicine as a whole. Funding This work was supported by a PhD-fellowship of the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO). Footnotes 1 For an overview, see S. Mishra, ‘An Introduction: Veterinary History Comes of Age’, Social History of Medicine, 2014, https://academic.oup.com/shm/pages/veterinary_history. 2 E.g. C. Stühring, ‘Managing Epizootic Diseases in 18th Century Bavaria’, in S. Cavaciocchi, ed., Economic and Biological Interactions in Pre-Industrial Europe from the 13th to the 18th Centuries (Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2010), 473–80; A. Sundberg, ‘loods, Worms, and Cattle Plague: Nature-induced Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age, 1672–1764’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Kansas, 2015). 3 The attitude is widespread, for instance: L. Wilkinson, ‘Veterinary Cross-Currents in the History of Ideas on Infectious Disease’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1980, 73, 818–27, 821; L. Wilkinson, ‘Rinderpest and Mainstream Infectious Disease Concepts in the Eighteenth Century’, Medical History, 1984, 28, 129–50, 129; J. Blancou, History of the Surveillance and Control of Transmissible Animal Diseases (Paris: Office International des Épizooties, 2003), 176–7; J. Swabe, Animals, Disease and Human Society. Human–Animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine (London: Taylor & Francis, 1999), 82; R. Rommes, ‘“Geen vrolyk geloei der melkzwaare koeijen”. Runderpest in Utrecht in de achttiende eeuw’, in Jaarboek Oud–Utrecht, 2001; 87–135, 126; J. E. Van Wissekerke, Van kwade droes tot erger. Gebruik en veterinaire verzorging van paarden in het leger (1762–1874) (Rotterdam: Erasmus Publishing 2010), 197; L. Devrise, ‘From Mules, Horses and Livestock to Companion Animals: a Linguistic-Etymological Approach to Veterinary History, mirroring Animal and (Mainly) Human Welfare’, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift, 2012, 81, 237–46, 244; C.C. Hannaway, ‘Veterinary Medicine and Rural Health Care in pre-Revolutionary France’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1997, 51, 431–47, 434; D.E. Allen, ‘Herbs for Herbivores: the Prehistory of Veterinary Medicine’, in A. R. Michell, ed., The Advancement of Veterinary Science. The Bicentary Symposium Series. Volume 3. History of the Healing Professions. Parallels between Veterinary and Medical History (Wallingford: CABI, 1999), 39. 4 Taking at face value the writings of contemporary physicians is perhaps also the case, for instance, with R. Hubscher, Les maîtres des bêtes. Les vétérinaires dans la société française (XVIIe-XXe siècle) (Paris: Editions Odile Jacob, 1999), 23–6. 5 L. Hill Curth, The Care of Brute Beasts. A Social and Cultural Study of Veterinary Medicine in Early Modern England (Leiden: Brill, 2010). 6 The nineteenth century is better served by historians—see e.g. A. Woods and S. Matthews, ‘Little, if at all, Removed from the Illiterate Farrier or Cow-leech: The English Veterinary Surgeon, c. 1860–1885, and the Campaign for Veterinary Reform’, Medical History, 2010, 54, 29–54; P. Koolmees, ‘All Sorts of Vets. A Questionnaire on Veterinary Practice in the Netherlands in 1846’, in J. Schäffer, ed., ‘Tielheilkundige’ in Geschichte und Gegenwart. ‘Animal Healers’—Past and Present (Giessen: DVG Servivce GmbH, 2010), 72–85. But see S. Mishra, ‘Beasts, Murrains, and the British Raj: Reassessing Colonial Medicine in India from the Veterinary Perspective, 1860–1900’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2011, 85, 587–619 for a similar concern regarding historiographical neglect of this topic in the context of the history of British colonialism. 7 For the Dutch Republic, see J. A. Faber, ‘Cattle–Plague in the Netherlands during the Eighteenth Century’, Mededelingen van de Landbouwhogeschool te Wageningen, Nederland, 1962, 62, 1–7; P.A. Koolmees, ‘Epizootic diseases in the Netherlands, 1713–2002’, in K. Brown and D. Gilfoyle, eds, Healing the Herds. Disease, Livestock Economies and the Globalization of Veterinary Medicine (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010), 19–41; Rommes, ‘“Geen vrolyk geloei der melkzwaare koeijen”’; and R. Rommes, ‘Twee eeuwen runderpest in Nederland (1700–1900)’, Argos, 2004, 31, 33–40. For Germany, D. Hünniger, ‘Policing Epizootics. Legislation and Administration during Outbreaks of Cattle Plague in Eighteenth–century Northern Germany as Continuous Crisis Management’, in Brown and Gilfoyle, eds, Healing the Herds, 76–91; R.A. Dorwart, ‘Cattle Disease (Rinderpest?)—Prevention and Cure in Brandenburg, 1665–1732’, Agricultural History, 1959, 35, 79–85; and the contributions in K. Engelken, D. Hünniger, and S. Windelen, eds, Beten, Impfen, Sammeln. Zur Viehseuchen- und Schädlings-bekämpfung in der Frühen Neuzeit (Göttingen: Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, 2007). 8 J. Broad, ‘Cattle Plague in Eighteenth-Century England’, Agricultural History Review, 1983, 31, 104–15, 106; L. Wilkinson, Animals & Disease. An Introduction to the History of Comparative Medicine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 42. 9 R. De Herdt, Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van de veeteelt in Vlaanderen, inzonderheid tot de geschiedenis van de rundveepest 1769–1785 (Louvain and Ghent: Belgisch centrum voor landelijke geschiedenis, 1970); F. Van Roosbroeck, ‘Experts, experimenten en veepestbestrijding in de Oostenrijkse Nederlanden, 1769–1785’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 2015, 128, 23–43. 10 Document entitled: ‘Lyste van de geassumeerde experte binnen de casselrye van cortryck voor de besmettelycke sieckte onder het hoornvee als volght’, 7 February 1772, folder 604, archive of the Franc of Bruges (Bundels), Rijksarchief Brugge, Bruges, Belgium (henceforth Bundels Franc of Bruges). 11 They are kept in folders 11156A–11165, archives of the Estates of Flanders, Rijksarchief Gent, Ghent, Belgium (henceforth Estates of Flanders) and folders 32007–32009, archives of the Council of Flanders, Rijksarchief Gent, Ghent, Belgium (henceforth Council of Flanders). For the Duchy of Brabant, 170 similar forms can be found in folder 469, archives of the Estates of Brabant, Rijksarchief Anderlecht, Anderlecht, Belgium. However, these contain much less information. 12 ‘Sieur Mergaert seght my dat sekeren Jan Baptiste Hoornaert woonende tot Handtsaeme redelycken experten koymeester is’. Letter by De Witte, 21 December 1770, folder 599, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 13 Letter by Huughe and Van Caloen, 23 November 1771, folder 601, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 14 Form concerning Antoine Bosset Hyne, 18 October 1773, folder 11164, Estates of Flanders; Form concerning Joannes Markette, 22 November 1773, folder 11163, Estates of Flanders. 15 This was by no means uncommon in the countryside, see, e.g. C. Lis and H. Soly, ‘Bestaanszekerheid versus arbeidsschuld: kleine boeren en keuters, in het bijzonder in Vlaanderen, 1750–1850. Een terreinverkenning’, T. Enghelen, O. W. A. Boonstra and A. Janssens, eds, Levenslopen in transformatie: liber amicorum bij het afscheid van prof. dr. Paul M.M. Klep (Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers, 2011), 261–78; P. Warde, ‘Subsistence and Sales: the Peasant Economy of Württemberg in the Early Seventeenth Century’, Economic History Review, 2006, 59, 289–319. 16 Similar to the crowded marketplace for human medicine. See e.g. S. King and A. Weaver, ‘Lives in Many Hands: The Medical Landscape in Lancashire, 1700–1820’, Medical History, 2000, 44, 173–200; A. Digby, Making a Medical Living. Doctors and Patients in the English Market for Medicine, 1720–1911 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 17 Letter by De Geest, 4 January 1772, folder 32007, Council of Flanders. 18 Cf. L. McCray Beier, Sufferers and Healers. The Experience of Illness in Seventeenth-Century England (London and New York: Routledge, 1987). 19 Hill Curth, The Care of Brute Beasts. See also F. Vallat, Les bœufs malades de la peste (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2009), 240–5. 20 The article that began to blur the boundary between ‘academic’ and ‘folk’ medicine was Roy Porter, ‘The Patient’s View: Doing Medical History from Below’, Theory and Society, 1985, 14, 175–98. Classics from this era include R. Porter, ed., Patients and Practitioners. Lay Perceptions of Medicine in pre-Industrial Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); R. Porter (ed.) The Popularization of Medicine 1650–1850 (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), and McCray Beier, Sufferers and Healers. For a recent overview indicating that the distinction no longer really exists, see e.g. L. W. B. Brockliss and C. Jones, The Medical World of Early Modern France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), M. Lindemann, Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), and M. Stolberg, ‘Learning from the Common Folks. Academic Physicians and Medical Lay Culture in the Sixteenth Century’, Social History of Medicine, 2014, 27, 649–67. 21 D. Gentilcore, ‘Was There a “Popular Medicine” in Early Modern Europe?’, Folklore, 2004, 115, 151–66. Given Gentilcore’s observation that participation in the ‘medical’ sphere was not limited to the elite, and participation in the ‘popular’ sphere not limited to the populace, one wonders whether these adjectives were not somewhat confusingly chosen. See also Stühring, ‘Managing Cattle Epizootics’, 474. 22 For the difficulty of reconstructing medical views, see e.g. Brockliss and Jones, The Medical World, 274 or T. Wijsenbeek-Olthuis, ‘Ziekte en tegenslag. Ziektebeleving in de hoogste kringen van de Republiek in de zeventiende eeuw’, in M. Gijswijk–Hofstra and F. Egmond, eds, Of bidden helpt? Tegenslag en cultuur in Europa, circa 1500–2000 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1997), 71–86, 73. See also E. Leong, ‘Making Medicines in the Early Modern Household’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2008, 82, 145–68; R. Jütte, ‘A Seventeenth-Century German Barber-Surgeon and his Patients’, Medical History, 1989, 33, 184–98; I. Mortimer, ‘The Triumph of the Doctors: Medical Assitance to the Dying, c. 1570–1720. The Alexander Prize Essay’, Transactions of the RHS, 2005, 15, 97–116; C. Loar, ‘Medical Knowledge and the Early Modern English Coroner’s Inquest’, Social History of Medicine, 2010, 23, 475–91; L. Hill Curth, English Almanacs, Astrology and Popular Medicine, 1550–1700 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013) for a sample of the range of sources used. 23 A rare and detailed investigation into the views of one eighteenth-century physician and his patients is B. Duden, The Woman Beneath the Skin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991). That is not to say that valid conclusions may not be reached by interrogating a large and aggragated corpus, of course, but these sort of studies are similarly rare in the history of veterinary medicine. For human medicine though, examples include I. Maclean, Logic, Signs and Nature in the Renaissance. The Case of Learned Medicine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) and M. Stolberg, Experiencing Illness and the Sick Body in Early Modern Europe (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). 24 See F. Van Roosbroeck, ‘Experts, experimenten en veepestbestrijding in de Oostenrijkse Nederlanden, 1769–1785’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 2015, 128, 23–43. 25 E.g. R.H. Dunlop and D.J. Williams, Veterinary Medicine. An Illustrated History (St Louis: Mosby, 1996), 517; Hubscher, Les maîtres des bêtes, 28–32. 26 For these daily reports, see J. Somers and J. Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp raekende de besmettelyke siekte van het hoorn–vee, desselfs toevallen en hulp–middels (Ghent, 1769). 27 ‘redelycken experten koymeester’. Letter by De Witte, 21 December 1770, folder 599, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 28 As Michael Stolberg points out, it is often unclear just how knowledge circulated between physicians and laypersons (or indeed other social groups). The extent of this sort of ‘informal reporting’, by letter or (presumably) in person can hardly be underestimated. See Stolberg, ‘Learning from the Common Folks’, 650. This (almost unavoidable) bias towards printed sources has, in my opinion, led to a characterization of the (rural) population that is entirely too passive or traditional. 29 ‘subtil, doordringent en besmettende venyn’. Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 9. 30 ‘contagieuse vergiftige stoffe … van eenen putriden, alkalinen, volatilen, subtilen, penetrerenden, corroderenden aert’. De Scheppere, Oordeel, 10. 31 ‘de gevitieerde, uytgebroude, infecterende stoffe, sig verschillig op d’inwendige deelen, ingewanden &c. door de circulatie hebbende neergestelt’. Ibid., 10. 32 ‘eene getroubleerde perspiratie, de circulatie des bloeds, en laeter d’humeuren t’eenemael vitierende, waer uyt volgen moeten obstructien, corruptien, inflammatien, geswellen, convulsien &c. ende dat de maege ende de ingewanden moeten verliesen hun magt, als mede de zenuwen infaillibelyk buyten hunne actie worden gestelt’. Ibid., 10. 33 De Scheppere, Aenmerckinge, 10 34 Such as a micro-organism, with the concomitant implication that ‘the measure of the disease is no longer the patient’s pathology, but is the successful reproduction of the pathogen in an animal experiment’. C. Gradmann, Laboratory Disease. Robert Koch’s Medical Bacteriology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 68. An excellent overview of how this transition took place is K. Codell Carter, The Rise of Causal Concepts of Disease. Case Histories (Aldershot: AShgate, 2003). 35 ‘dat de byna onerstellyke ravage al gedaen is’. De Scheppere, Oordeel, 9. 36 Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 9. 37 Anonymous, Instruction pour les gens, 8–16. 38 Van Elsacker, Berigt, 12–13; De Scheppere, Aenmerckinge, 6. 39 Van De Walle, Bellona, 8. 40 Anonymous, Ten versoecke; Letter by Vispoel, 19 November 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. 41 E.g. M. Lindemann, Health and Healing in Eighteenth-Century Germany (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 262–71 and M. Fissell, Patients, Power and the Poor in Eighteenth-Century Bristol (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 16–37; J. Duffin, Lovers and Livers: Disease Concepts in History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005). 42 G. A. Lindeboom, Herman Boerhaave. The Man and his Work (Rotterdam: Erasmus Publishing, 2007 [1968]), H. J. Cook, ‘Boerhaave and the flight from reason in medicine’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 2000, 74, 221–40; A. Cunningham, ‘Medicine to Calm the Mind: Boerhaave’s Medical System, and Why it was Adopted in Edinburgh’, in A. Cunningham and R. French, eds, The Medical Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 40–66. 43 Duden, The Woman beneath the Skin, 133. See also Stolberg, Experiencing Illness, 95–100 and B. Duden, ‘Fluxes and Stagnations. A Physician’s Perception and Treatment of Humours in Baroque Ladies’, in P. Horden and E. Hsu, eds, The Body in Balance. Humoral Medicines in Practice (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2013), 53–68. 44 For instance Letter by Weemaes, 29 October 1769, folder 11176, Estates of Flanders. 45 ‘principalyck met den cours van het bloedt liber te maken ende syne gewoonelycke circulatie te procureeren’. Letter concerning Deschadt, 4 July 1770, folder 597, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 46 Although hardly the only one, as nosology was a rather idiosyncratic and confused affair at the time. M. DeLacy, ‘Nosology, Mortality, and Disease Theory in the Eighteenth Century’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 1999, 54, 261–84, 274. 47 An excellent look at the theories surrounding only one disease, i.e. puerperal fever, is C. Hallett, ‘The Attempt to Understand Puerperal Fever in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries: The Influence of Inflammation Theory’, Medical History, 2005, 49, 1–28. 48 W. F. Bynum, ‘Cullen and the Study of Fevers in Britain, 1760–1820’, Medical History, 1981, supplement 1, 145. 49 Peruvian bark has a rather long and convoluted history, see A. H. Maehle, Drugs on Trial: Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation in the Eighteenth Century (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi Bv Editions, 1999), 221–310. On the use of purgatives, see M. Harrison, ‘Disease and Medicine in the Armies of British India, 1750–1830’, in G. L. Hudson, British Military and Naval Medicine, 1600–1830 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Bv Editions; 2007), 87–120, 93–7. 50 Ibid., 98. 51 Mark Harrison, Medicine in an Age of Commerce & Empire. Britain and its Tropical Colonies 1660–1830 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 146–54. 52 Needham, Mémoire, 4–7. It is worth pointing out at this point that John Needham was an English member of the Theresian Academy of Science and Letters in Brussels, and was certainly familiar with the work of Pringle, quoting him extensively in the later part of his essay. 53 Letter by Bourgelat, 4 August 1769, folder 4444, archive of the Council of Finance, Algemeen Rijksarchief, Brussels, Belgium (henceforth Council of Finance). 54 On redirecting blood flow, see Stolberg, Experiencing Illness, 90–105 and 114–15. 55 For instance, Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 12; De Scheppere, Oordeel, 20. 56 This was by no means an exceptional situation. See A. H. Maehle, ‘Experience, Experiment and Theory: Justifications and Criticisms of Pharmacotherapeutic Practices in the Eighteenth Century’, in J. Helm and R. Wilson, eds, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice in the Eighteenth Century. A Transatlantic Perspective (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2008), 64. 57 Somers and Vander Woestijne, Ontwerp, 10–11 and 17; De Scheppere, Oordeel, 22–4; Anonymous, Instruction pour les gens de campagne (Luxembourg 1769) 16; Van Elsacker, Berigt, 8–9 and 12. The use of theriac was recommended, moreover, in all pamhlets published in the 1740s, both by cow masters as well as physicians, with the exception of that of De Scheppere. 58 The ‘fireroot’ (Helleborus niger or the Christmas rose) served a similar function to the seton (which was sometimes coated with a herbal mixture): it was introduced into the skin of the animal and allowed to fester. The formation of pus was interpreted as the ‘drawing off’ of malevolent humours. 59 ‘hier door worden de los-staende hairen weg-genomen, de vuyle korsten geruymt, de pori geopent, de transpiratie herstelt en vermeerdert, en aldus wordt aen de humoren den weg gebaent om langs desen eensdeels uyt het lichaem te gaen’. Somers en Vander Woestyne, Ontwerp, 15. 60 ‘voor de gonne wiens inwendighe infectatie, voor het inwendigh teekenen, soo verre niet gecomen en is’. Letter by Mergaert, 17 January 1772, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. 61 ‘de selve ten hoogsten in het bloet is gecomen’. Letter by Mergaert, 17 January 1772, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. 62 For the widespread use of this manner of reasoning, particularly among physicians see e.g. Maclean, Logic, Signs and Nature, 148–70 and 276–33. Other cow masters followed the same reasoning process, proceeding from observed exterior signs to deduced internal causes, and from there to a narrative of disease progression and finally to prognosis and cure. E.g. Letter by the local authorities of Bikschote, 28 September 1770, folder 596, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 63 ‘dat hy met die remidie ende op deselfste wyse de volgende daegen voorts gegaen heeft, tot alderstont hy ondervonde, dat de beeste grooten afganck creegh, om welcken met moderatie te doen stutten (: midts die nauwelyx eenen halven dagh magh continueren, ende wel somwylen min, naer advenante van de cloeckte van de beeste, ende de violentie vanden afganck :), dat hy alsdan heeft gemaeckt eenen dranck’. Letter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 748, Estates of Flanders. 64 On diagnosis by the cow masters, see above, and also the testimony of Jacobus Weemaes, who declared the cause of an illness to be ‘a chill in the stomach and in the guts which prevents the circulation of the blood and thickens it’. Letter by Weemaes, 23 December 1770, folder 751, Estates of Flanders. On provoking the flow of bodily fluids, see e.g. Letter by De Backer, 27 March 1773, folder 32006, Council of Flanders; Letter concerning Pieter Deschadt, 4 July 1770, folder 597, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 65 Maclean, Logic, Signs and Nature, 254. 66 I. Mortimer, The Dying and the Doctors. The Medical Revolution in Seventeenth-Century England (Woodbridge and Rochester NY: Royal Historical Society, 2009) 90 and 208. In addition, and in my opinion perhaps more significantly, chemical remedies by their very nature needed to be purchased on the market. Herbal remedies, on the other hand, could quite simply be gathered in the fields and thus wouldn’t show up in Mortimer’s sources. 67 P. Wallis, ‘Exotic Drugs and English Medicine: England’s Drug Trade, c.1550-c.1800’, Social History, 2011, 25, 20–46, 25–7. 68 See also A. Wear, Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550–1680 (Cambridge: Cambrdige University Press, 2000), 399–433; J. K. Crellin, ‘Continuity and Change in Eighteenth-Century Therapeutics’, in Helm and Wilson, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice, 175–96 for the integration of chemical remedies within the Galenic medical mainstream. 69 Wallis, ‘Exotic drugs’, 37–8. 70 Harrison, Medicine in an Age of Commerce & Empire, 146–54. 71 Emphasising the eighteenth century is Maehle, Drugs on Trial, 55–126. Therapeutic developments and changes in this period, especially based on tropical substances, are also covered in T. D. Walker, ‘The Medicines Trade in the Portuguese Atlantic world: Acquisition and Dissemination of Healing Knowledge from Brazil (c. 1580–1800)’, Social History of Medicine, 2013, 26, 403–31; H. J. Cook and T. D. Walker, ‘Circulation of Medicine in the Early Modern Atlantic World’, Social History of Medicine, 2013, 26, 337–51. For authors stressing the (late) seventeenth century, see e.g. N. G. Coley, ‘“Cures without Care”. “Chymical Physicians” and Mineral Waters in Seventeenth-Century English Medicine’, Medical History, 1979, 23, 181–214. For the situation on the continent, where chemical remedies were perhaps accepted at an earlier date, see e.g. A. Lans, ‘Friedrich Hoffman: Medical Theory and Practice’, in Helm and Wilson, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice, 159–73. 72 See footnotes 20–21. 73 Wallis, ‘Exotic Drugs’, 37–8. 74 See also Wear, Knowledge and Practice, 46–103 and 390; R. Porter and D. Porter, ‘The Rise of the English Drugs Industry: the Role of Thomas Corbyn’, Medical History, 1989, 33, 277–95. 75 Curth, The Care of Brute Beasts, 57–63. The only reference in the literature I have found to cow masters in the Low Countries also stems from the seventeenth century: J. Monballyu, ‘Heksen, hun buren en hun vervolgers in de Leiestreek. Een sociale benadering van de heksenprocessen te Olsene en Dentergem in 1660–1670’, in Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent, 2003, 57, 123–84. 76 Citing Edoardo Grendi: C. Ginzburg, The Night Battles. Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013 [1983]), x. 77 Namely ‘Hannecappare’ and ‘elfroucken’, which I have not been able to identify. 78 For instance in the case of Peter Polsit: Letter by Vispoel, 9 December 1769, folder 758, Estates of Flanders. The case of Gondesmit, a horse master, who declared he had been visiting stables in several locales in order to let blood, is also suggestive: Letter by Dierickx, 3 September 1770, folder 599, Bundels Franc of Bruges. 79 ‘Op den selven tydt is het ook geraedig vuur-wortels te steken in de agterste billen en steert, om alsoo aen de humoren meer als eenen weg te openen’. Somers en Vander Woestyne, Ontwerp, 13. 80 ‘Men moet de Beesten (om de quaetaerdige stoffe, die d’inwendige partyen nu geinfecteert heeft, naer’t uytwendigh te brengen, ende alsoo te dissiperen ende cureren) eerst voor al van het Vuûr doen steken met Vuûrwortels of Nieswortel (Helleborus niger in ‘t latyn geseyt) in ’t hangen van de twee Billen, item oock in ’t hangen van de Borste, met de reflectie dat in elcken Bil moet ghesteken worden dry stucken van den voorschreven Vuûr-wortel, ofte Nies-wortel, eenen vinger van elckanderen.’ Anonymous, Ten versoecke. 81 M.M. Ruisinger, ‘The Circulation of Blood and Venesection: On the Relation between Medical Theory and Practice in the Early Eighteenth Century’, in Helm and Wilson, Medical Theory and Therapeutic Practice, 37–59. 82 ‘naer proportie van hunne jaeren’. Letter by Somers and Vander Woestijne, 20 December 1769, folder 11175, Estates of Flanders, folder, 11175. 83 Letters by Somer and Vander Woestijne, December 1769, folder 11175, Estates of Flanders. 84 ‘inwendigh fenyn uyt te jaeghen’. Letter by Mergaert, 18 January 1771, folder 752, Estates of Flanders. 85 ‘omme alle inwendighen brandt uyt de levers te dryven’. Ibid. 86 Letter by Malempré, 21 August 1769, folder 4444, Council of Finances. 87 Letter by Malempré, 16 September 1769, folder 4444, Council of Finances. 88 On the emerging air of sophistication and mastery, see P. Wallis, ‘Consumption, Retailing, and Medicine in Early-Modern London’, Economic History Review, 2008, 61, 26–53 for a similar argument involving pharmacists. 89 As Michael Stolberg argues happened in the case of human medicine: Stolberg, ‘Learning from the Common Folks’, 666. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.

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Social History of MedicineOxford University Press

Published: Dec 11, 2017

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